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English: Literature Research

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, somtimes 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?

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
Professors, researchers, professionals, experts, students; people who are already interested in the topic. Audience   
Last Updated: Oct 23, 2023 5:45 PM

Terms to Try

Try adding one of these key words to your search to find criticisms of your chosen "work:"

  • criticism
  • critiques
  • interpretation
  • readings (for books)
  • essays
  • appreciation

The type of literature, such as:

  • epic literature
  • oral traditions
  • social drama

Advanced Search Reminders

  • Use AND to combine different keywords.  
    • For example, minorities AND coaching
  • Use OR to combine synonyms or related terms 
    • race OR ethnicity OR minorit*
  • To look for a phrase use “quotation marks” around your terms:
    • “human resource management” will find those words next to each other, instead of anywhere on the page.
  • To look for variations of a word, or to look for the singular and plural, use the
    • Minor* will find minority or minorities, but it will also find anything about minor or minors.
  • Use Parentheses: separate synonyms from others.
    • (race OR ethnicity) and coaching

Did you know?

Did you know that you can search multiple EBSCO databases at the same time?

To do this, click on "Choose Databases" link above the search boxes. The database in which you are seaching will already be checked (eg. Academic Search Complete).

Using the check boxes, select:

  • Humanities Source

Once you've selected all the databases you would like to search, scroll down the screen and click OK.

At this point your screen will refresh and the name of your original database will be followed by "Show all." You are now searching multiple databases at once.


My EBSCOhost is a feature of EBSCO databases that allows you to save your searches and articles for future access. To sign up for this feature, click "Sign In to MY EBSCOhost", at the top right of the screen from any page within an EBSCOhost database.