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ISR 2531: Research Methods

Peer Reviewed Journals

What does it mean when a journal is peer reviewed?

Articles in a journal which is peer-reviewed go through a rigorous process in which the articles are reviewed by scholars and researchers (peers) in the field.   Before being accepted, these articles are often sent back to the authors for revisions.  For more information about the peer review process, please watch the video below.  

Are all scholarly journals peer-reviewed?

Most but not all scholarly journals are peer-reviewed.  

How do you know if a journal is peer-reviewed?

  1. Limit your search in databases to peer-reviewed journals only.  Some databases such as Academic Search Complete allow you to limit your searching to only peer-reviewed journals.  
  2. Go to the journal's official homepage online.  Usually in the About this Journal section, the journal will note whether or not it is peer-reviewed.  
  3. Ask your professor or a librarian to assist you in determining whether or not a journal is peer-reviewed.  

Peer Review Behind the Scenes

Diagram of peer review process

Image source: Peer-review: The Nuts and Bolts from Sense about Science

Why Use Peer-Reviewed Articles?

  • More information about the author is available, boosting the credibility of the source.
  • Peer-reviewed articles cite sources, which are also potential sources for you.
  • Peer review means the article has been thoroughly reviewed and vetted, making it a more reliable resource.