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   “Refereed literature” means that a published article appears in a scholarly, academic or professional journal that requires all authors to have their work peer reviewed.  Peer reviews occur when the author(s) of a research article submit their findings to be published and the journal editor submits the article to two outside experts (in the related professional field).  The “peers” of the author review the article and provide comments, feedback, and suggestions. 

   Reviews occur in the blind, meaning the reviewers do not know the author at the time they consider the strengths and weaknesses of an article.  This ensures “the manuscript is judged on its merits rather than on the reputation of the author and/or the author's influence on the reviewers”16.  When the peer review process is complete the experts determine whether or not the article should be published, usually based upon a minimum scoring system.

  Two reviewers enhance the assessment of articles so that specialists who are familiar with similar type research can determine if the article makes a credible contribution to existing knowledge.  The multi-reviewer process allows for a wider perspective in the evaluation of research and it can serve to provoke dialogue between journal editors so that differences of opinion can be reconciled.

   It is important to know that not all professional and academic journals are peer reviewed or refereed.  Whenever authors (or web publishers and therapists for that matter) provide references it is not enough to decide if what is being stated is rooted in research; the reference itself needs to be assessed as credible in order to determine if the information it produces can be trusted.  Readers can check references at their source and nearly all peer reviewed journals indicate when they are refereed.  The general public can research a journal by it’s name on the world wide web using common search engines.

   All of the journal articles referenced on this website are from refereed, peer reviewed sources (some are linked otherwise to the references pages, or they are listed at the end of the mental health articles posted here @TalkifUwant).  Usually the general public cannot access professional journal articles on the Internet because they are subscription based; students or others who are affiliated with a university, can search their college libraries for journal articles to locate peer reviewed literature.  However, anyone who is affiliated with the public university system can access many professional journals via the college library.

   Other references used on this website are believed to be from credible sources: governmental health agencies, national institutes, and various governing mental health associations.  All sources are linked to the “References & Links” page—making it a bit more intuitive for users to move between sources and posted information.

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