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How do I tell if an article is peer-reviewed?

How can I tell if a journal is refereed or scholarly?
Last Updated: Jul 22, 2015  |  3470 Views

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A scholarly (peer-reviewed) article has gone through a review process before publication. During this review process, the article is evaluated (critiqued) by experts in the academic discipline. This type of journal is sometimes called a "refereed" journal.

Here are some tips for identifying a peer-reviewed article:

  • The journal title may include the word "Journal" or perhaps the word "Research." 
  • The author's academic credentials/affiliation will typically be listed at the beginning of the article.
  • The article will typically include an abstract (summary) at the beginning of the article.
  • The article will describe an original study (experiment) or will provide a literature review that evaluates research by other scholars.
  • The article's list of cited references will be provided at the end of the article. This list is often labeled with the terms "References" or "Works Cited."
  • The article is usually quite long. (Hint: If an article is only one or a few pages long, it's probably not scholarly!)

The library has a database called Ulrichsweb Global Serials Directory (Serials Solutions), which you can use to look up a journal by its title and to gather some information about the publication, including whether or not the journal is refereed or peer-reviewed. 

Please Note:  Many of the library's databases provide the option to limit your search to scholarly/peer-reviewed articles. Although this limit option will limit the search results to articles published in scholarly/peer-reviewed journals, the results may also include letters to the editor, editorials, and book reviews, all of which have not gone through a peer-review process.

Answered by Linda CifelliBookmark and Share

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