By googling the journal homepage you should be able to find information on things like the aim and scope of the journal, but also if the journal is Peer-reviewed. You can also use tools like the ones presented below and check whether a journal is peer-reviewed or not, if it has a high ranking within its subject area, etc.
Research Minutes is a series for undergraduate students at Cornell University covering library research topics.
North Carolina State University Libraries explains Peer Review.
The following documents are common in the scientific publication process:
The Application - sometimes it is possible to reach applications for grants/funding or other financial support for different research projects. This might give you a hint on what new areas of interest within your subject.
Conference papers/proceedings - along the way, the researcher may report results at conferences. The papers can be published both as:
Research reports - usually published by universities, research institutes, companies, organizations or government authorities to present their research. Usually these reports don't undergo the same quality control as scientific journal articles do, so the scientific weight might vary.
Journal articles - a common way for researchers to reach out with their findings and scientific work is to write an article for a journal in within their field. Usually scientific articles are published in journals that are refereed or peer reviewed. In short the peer review means that a group of peers read and evaluate the paper to determine if it merits publication in that journal. Approximately 50% of conference papers get published as full journal articles within two years.
Books - researchers often publish books or chapters in books (anthologies) to communicate their research. The most common is the dissertation, which is the result of their work during their Ph D studies - The PhD thesis in book form.
If you want current information it might be a good idea to consult publications that occur early in the publication process, such as for example conference proceedings or journal articles, since books take longer to publish.
The term Open Access (OA) is used for a way of publishing where researchers choose to make their research results and publications freely available at no cost without restrictions to the end user. All over the world universities, among them Lund University, has taken a stand for increased OA publishing.