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How to recognize a scientific article?

How to recognize a scientific article?

Peer reviewed articles (refereed)

  • Peer review is generally considered to be the most important criterion of scientificity for articles.
  • When an article is peer reviewed or refereed, it can also be said to be scientific.
  • Peer review, or referencing, can be called a quality-control mechanism in science. The publisher or publisher seeks external expert reviewers (referees) for the texts offered for publication, who are familiar with the topic and evaluate the research setting of the article, the argumentation, its sources, etc.

Domestic label for peer-reviewed publications

In Finland some peer-reviewed scientific publications have been granted a special peer-reviewed label (see below), which is granted under certain conditions to operators who regularly engage in scientific publishing activities. The label is issued by the Federation of Finnish Learned Societies, on whose website you can also find a list of book publishers and series of publications using the ID. However, most of the domestic scientific articles do not include such a label.

When there is no separate label for a scientific article, peer review must be clarified in other ways. It may be a good idea to

  • search in international databases which only include peer reviewed journals (Web of Science, Scopus and Medline, etc.)
  • include only articles published in peer-reviewed journals when searching in databases
  • check the web page of an article, journal or its publisher

See more advice and tools on the next page “Tools and advice”.

Structure and other signs of a scientific article

Structure of a scientific article

The following components are considered to indicate the scientificity of an article in many disciplines:

  • introduction and theory background
  • presentation of methods and material
  • presentation of results
  • reflection of results
  • source references and bibliography

Scientific articles based on empirical research, specifically, follow the so-called IMRD formula: I=Introduction, M=Methods, R=Results, D=Discussion.

Other characteristics of a scientific article

An article can be scientific even if it isn't peer reviewed or doesn't have a specific structure. You will learn the main characteristics of a scientific article in your discipline and how to evaluate them during your studies, but be sure to observe at least these points:

  • previous research on the subject
  • research methods
  • results of the research and their presentation
  • neutral and precise language used
  • argumentation and its validity
  • accurate source references and bibliography

Peer review in 3 minutes