How to find peer-reviewed articles

Here are a few ways to identify peer-reviewed journals and articles:

  • Search for the journal in Ulrichsweb Global Serials Directory. Look for a graphic of a referee's shirt (Ulrishsweb graphic - Referee's Shir) which indicates whether or not this journal is "refereed", i.e. peer-reviewed.
  • Some databases, such as Proquest and CINAHL, allow you to limit your search results to peer-reviewed journals. 
  • Look at the journal’s Instructions for Authors, which usually include the review policy.


What does "peer-reviewed" mean?


Articles which have been subjected to expert scrutiny before publication are presumed to be more reliable than articles which have not.  A peer reviewed article is presented by the journal editor to other experts in the field (the author's peers), who will offer their judgment on the study's methodology, conclusions, and overall contribution to the field.  The reviewers then recommend whether the article should be published, revised before publication, or not published at all.  These recommendations are not binding on the journal editor, but they carry great weight.

Peer review is usually a double-blind process, where the reviewer does not know who wrote the paper and the author does not know who wrote the review comments (single-blind means the reviewer knows who the author is, but not vice-versa).  This is intended to ensure that comments are based on the merits of the research and not on the reputation of the author or other possible biasing factors.  



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Page maintained by Mark A Chaffee
Last modified: 01/15/2014