The Importance of Journal Articles
This introductory chapter explains how and why journal articles are generally according greater prestige and merit within the scientific community, relative to other forms of disseminating research findings through venues such as books, book chapters, weblogs, and presenting papers at professional conferences. Published journal articles typically have gone through a rigorous screening process known as blind peer review, whereby independent experts provide the author with critical commentary and suggestions to improve their final paper, prior to publication. Most print journals are now widely accessible over the internet and are relatively easy for others to access. Articles submitted to journals usually appear in print sooner than books or book chapters, and continue to be accorded greater influence in promotion and tenure decisions within academia than alterative means of distributing information. Articles published in peer reviewed journals are likely to remain a very important means of distributing research findings for the foreseeable future.
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