What is a Peer Reviewed Article?
A peer-reviewed article is one that has been reviewed by a body of “peers:” experts in the same field as the writer.
They are sometimes called “refereed” and are published in peer-reviewed (sometimes called academic or scholarly) journals.
When in doubt, ask your professor as they are the experts in their fields.
How to tell if an article is peer-reviewed
|Criteria||Peer-Reviewed / Scholarly||Popular / General|
|Length or Appearance of Source||
Lengthy, in depth. Often includes tables, graphs, statistics.
Serious appearance, not heavily graphic.
Generally includes abstract and citation list.
Purpose of the articles is usually to present original research or experiments.
|Shorter, overview-type articles. Popular style.
Does not usually include abstract or citation list.
Includes many advertisements aimed at a general audience.Purpose of the articles is more to entertain.
|Author or Editor||
Credentials often included (PhD, MD, MPH, etc.)
Peer reviewed, refereed or juried: critically evaluated by a knowledge panel of experts.
|Reporters, staff writers.
Credentials not usually included.
Reviewed by the editorial staff, not subject experts.Articles are sometimes unsigned.
|Title||Includes words like: review, journal, research, quarterly, studies, transactions, proceedings, archives.||Often includes the word magazine.|
|Language||Technical, likely to include the jargon of the field. Assumes some background knowledge from the reader.||Non-technical, accessible by broad audience|
|Article Structure||Traditional structure usually requires: abstract, literature review, methodology, results, conclusion, references||No specific structure.|
|Audience||Professors, researchers, professionals, experts, students; people who are already interested in the topic.||General public, trying to attract an audience.|
Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA)
The Political Quarterly