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Scholarly/Peer-Reviewed Articles

What is a peer-reviewed article and how do I find one?

A peer-reviewed article is:

  • An article that has been reviewed by a group of experts in the field, sometimes called a board of editors.
  • Refereed is another term for peer-reviewed.

To determine if an article is scholarly or peer-reviewed, see below for a quick checklist. 
In many of our databases you can limit your searches to just peer-reviewed/refereed journals using a checkbox or other option on the search screen.

Is this article peer-reviewed (scholarly) or popular? A quick checklist.

Peer-reviewed articles are usually found in scholarly journals while popular or general articles often are found in popular magazines.

Scholarly Journals Criteria Popular Magazines

Political Science Quarterly
Type of source

Lengthy, in depth. Often includes tables, graphs, statistics.

Serious appearance, not heavily graphic.

Generally includes abstract and citation list.

Advertisements aimed at the scholarly audience it serves.

Purpose of the articles is usually to present original research or experiments.

Length and appearance of articles

Scholars, experts.

Credentials always included.

Peer reviewed, refereed or juried: critically evaluated by a knowledge panel of experts.

Usually published by a scholarly or university press.

Includes words like: review, journal, research, quarterly, studies, transactions, proceedings, archives. Title
Technical, likely to include the jargon of the field. Assumes some background knowledge from the reader. Language
Traditional structure usually requires: abstract, literature review, methodology, results, conclusion, references  Article structure
Published bi-monthly, quarterly, semi-annually, or annually. Frequency
Last Updated: Sep 10, 2019 3:12 PM
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