Answered By: Linda Cifelli
Last Updated: Aug 01, 2019     Views: 4903

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 is probably not scholarly!)

Please Note:  Many library 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.

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