Peer-reviewed articles are highly specialized reports, usually about original research, written by experts for an audience of experts.
If you already have a lot of knowledge about your research topic, a peer-reviewed article can help you understand the nuances and details of newly tested and debated ideas, theories, methods, and discoveries within a specialized field.
If you are new to your subject, you will need to first build your background knowledge in order to read a peer-reviewed journal well enough to understand it thoroughly.
Peer-reviewed publications (sometimes called scholarly, academic, or refereed) have gone through a review process by experts in the field before being published. To learn more about the process, please see the video at the bottom of this page, from North Carolina State University Libraries.
1. You can search for only peer-reviewed journal articles in OneSearch by using the peer-reviewed journal filter. OneSearch searches across many databases (collections of journals) at the same time.
You can see explicitly in the details if a journal is peer-reviewed.
2. You can also find peer-reviewed articles in a specific library database. You can search here for databases on particular subjects
Here is an example from a database called Academic Search Premier (EBSCO). Note that in this example "Academic Journal" = Scholarly; "Periodical" = Not Scholarly (in other contexts, the word "periodical" can mean all kinds of publications, including but not only academic journals).
Here is an example from a database called GenderWatch. Here, the little mortar board (graduation cap) = scholarly; the rolled diploma = dissertation, the newspaper icon = magazine, etc. Note also that you can filter your results for peer-reviewed articles in all databases.
4. Other ways to tell whether an article is peer-reviewed. Examine some characteristics of the article: