Published, Peer-Reviewed Research

The CEBC relies on published, peer-reviewed research to determine a program’s CEBC Scientific Rating. This ensures that the research meets a minimum standard and its methods and findings have been independently reviewed by experts knowledgeable in the field. The peer review is a process that scholarly journals use to ensure the articles they publish represent the best scholarship currently available. When an article is submitted to a peer-reviewed journal, the editors send it out to subject experts in the same field (the author's peers) to get their opinion on the quality of the scholarship, its relevance to the field, its appropriateness for the journal, etc.

This process encourages authors to meet the accepted standards of their discipline and prevents the dissemination of unsupported claims or interpretations and personal views. The reviewers critique the paper by looking for inaccuracies, assessing the paper’s methods and scientific importance, asking for clarifications and other changes to the article, and make a recommendation as to whether or not the article should be published. Peer review requires a community of experts in a given field, who are qualified and able to perform impartial review. Reviewers are typically anonymous and independent and do not know the identity of the paper’s authors; this helps to encourage honest critique and discourage bias in publication decisions.

Peer review has been compared to a "stamp of approval" from academic experts, since it ensures that experts in the relevant field have read the paper and determined it to meet a high standard of scholarship. While the peer review process may not identify all errors or biases, it is an established method within the scientific communities to make a careful and critical examination of the merits of a paper.