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Library DIY

Peer Reviewed Sources

Video: Peer Review

Peer-reviewed publications (sometimes called scholarlyacademic, or refereed) have gone through a review process by experts in the field before being published. Library databases are good places to locate peer-reviewed articles, though not all sources found in those resources are peer-reviewed.

These strategies can help you determine if an article is peer-reviewed.   

Learn more about the journal your article was published in:

  • If you found the article in a database: 
    • there may be an icon on the left side of the source description that indicates the source  type (e.g., scholarly article, magazine article, scholarly book). Peer-reviewed articles are usually published in scholarly journals and sometimes in scholarly books.
    • clicking on the journal title may give you more information about the journal and the journals editorial process.
  • Google the title of the journal and locate the publisher's website for the journal. Then look for an editorial policy page or a page for authors. This page should also indicate whether articles go through a peer review process.


Last resort: In many databases you can limit your search to only peer-reviewed articles. (This is not ideal, since it will remove some relevant items, such as peer-reviewed book articles.) 

  • Look for a checkbox that limits a search to scholarly (peer-reviewed) articles (either on the first search page or on the results page),
  • Search in a database or journal that only contains peer-reviewed articles. (Read about the database or journal to identify the nature of its publications.)

Screenshot of library catalog search screen showing the Peer Reviewed Journals limiter

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