A peer-reviewed article is an article that has been evaluated by other researchers in the academic community before being accepted for publication. They are also referred to as refereed or scholarly articles. Although peer-reviewed article splay a significant role in research, they present various advantages and disadvantages. Some of the advantages of peer-reviewed articles can be illustrated from the establishment of the strength of a research topic based on expert knowledge from other researchers in the same field. This means that peer-reviewed articles play a significant role in ensuring work is accepted in a given area of study. Secondly, the play a significant role in ensuring valuable feedback is given to the reader to ensure other researchers in the field improve their work before publication.

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They also enable the authors of journals to select some of the significant research findings to be published in their journals. Peer-reviewed articles are also vital because the process involved in coming up with a peer-reviewed is normally accepted and understood by most researchers in a given area of study (Weller, 2001). When a peer-reviewed article is being reviewed, some of the factors that are examined are whether the author has explained and discussed some of the contradictory theories in the article. Other researchers also try to examine if the results presented in the article are general, or if they are based on a careful choice of experiments. The researchers reviewing the article also try to ensure the conclusions are based on well supported evidence. Although the criteria for evaluating a peer-reviewed article vary, some of the significant features examined in peer-reviewed articles are relevance, timeliness of the article and technical accuracy. Such processes ensure that quality work is produced from peer-reviewed articles.

Despite the many advantages presented by peer-reviewed articles, there are also disadvantages presented by these articles. Since the articles have to be reviewed by other researchers in a given field of study, they may cause lengthy delays during the dissemination of findings. They are also time-consuming. This results to considerable demands for an academic community. This can be associated with the many debates involved in evaluating peer-reviewed articles in an attempt to detect errors in the paper before its publication. The other disadvantage is the difficulty in protecting the anonymity of some of the referees in the research field. This is because the number of experts in some of the fields may be minimal. There are instances when peer-reviewed articles are subject to bias. This happens in order to protect published opinions instead of being open to genuine ideas. Lastly, they are not a guarantee in the ensuring poor research is not published. This can be illustrated from some of the less prestigious journals whose review standards are low (Weller, 2001).

Non-peer-reviewed articles are articles that appear in publications like magazines, blogs or newspapers, which are also published by experts in a given field. They are works, which have not been subjected to peer-review. Although these articles may not be as suitable as peer-reviewed articles based on the quality of information presented, since researchers in a given area of expertise do not review the articles, other researchers interested in obtaining information from a given field of study can normally access such articles easily. These articles also play a significant role in minimizing the time required for publication (Weller, 2001). As opposed to peer reviewed articles which need to be reviewed by other people, the publication of such articles normally takes a short time because they do not depend on comments from other reviewers. One disadvantage posed by most peer-reviewed articles is that some of them normally require paid subscriptions for someone to access the contents. However, this is different for non-peer-reviewed articles where access to material is never restricted.

Most non-peer-reviewed articles, for example, blogs or forum posts tend to overcome most of the challenges presented by peer-reviewed articles. Since the publication of these articles is normally instantaneous, the author can normally provide little or a lot of information in whatever structure they want. Their major advantage is evident in the improved accessibility they enhance. However, such material has also posed challenges, for example, during the assessment of quality. For non-peer-reviewed articles, anyone is normally allowed to publish anything. This poses a difficulty in trusting the results presented in these articles. Although some of the blogs and newspaper articles have had a reputation for the publication of quality material, it is very rare for most non-peer-reviewed articles to provide quality results (Weller, 2001).

Peer-reviewed articles play a significant role in helping students to learn. When students use peer-reviewed articles during their studies, they also learn how to do research. For example, to find some of the articles students normally have to navigate through different databases in order to find the articles they are looking for. An evaluation of the manner in which information is presented in peer-reviewed articles reveals that they help most students, for example, undergraduates to learn. Most undergraduates are normally novices when it comes to using such articles, however, introducing them to the article engages them in discussions about the content. By learning such concepts, the students can also know how to build their research papers, which is a vital step in enhancing knowledge (Shatz, 2004).