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Research 101

Overview

Peer-Reviewed Journals

Peer-reviewed journals (sometimes called scholarly, academic, or refereed) have gone through a review process by experts in the field before being published. To learn more, check out the videos below.

Know the name of the peer-reviewed journal you're looking for? Use our Journal Search to find it!

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.

To understand how to develop your background knowledge, visit Getting Started with Research and Sources for Research. If you're not sure about where to start, you can always talk to a librarian for more assistance.

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

You can use the strategies below to limit your search to only peer-reviewed articles. Other ways to tell whether an article is peer-reviewed:

  • Length
    • A peer-reviewed article is longer than just a couple of pages and includes a (usually long) bibliography.
  • Original Research
    • Most peer-reviewed articles report on the author's own original research.
  • Information from the Publisher
    • The publisher's website for the journal should also indicate whether articles go through a peer-review process. Find a page that might be called "For Authors" to locate this information.

Some articles in peer-reviewed journals are not peer-reviewed articles. Examples includes editorials, news items, and book reviews, which do not necessarily go through the same review process. 

Finding peer-reviewed articles with OneSearch

On the left-hand side of the screen select "Peer-Reviewed Journals" beneath "Limit To."
 

OneSearch Screenshot
Image 01: Screenshot of OneSearch with "Limit To" encircled and "Peer-Reviewed Journals" selected.

Finding peer-reviewed articles in a specific database

Use our A-Z database list to find databases by name or subject. In each database you can limit your search results to "Academic Journals" or "Peer Reviewed" articles. 

filters from Academic Search complete

GenderWatch allows you to limit your search to peer-reviewed articles by selecting "Peer Reviewed" beneath the search box. 

Screenshot of GenderWatch with "Peer Reviewed" encircled. A note reads, "You can check this box if you only want peer-reviewed articles." 
 

Learning about Peer-Review | Video 01

NCSU Libraries: Peer Review in 3 Minutes

Learning about Peer-Review | Video 02

TED-Ed: Not all scientific studies are created equal - David H. Schwartz

Learning about Peer-Review | Video 03

Yavapai College Library: Searching Databases