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I Do Not Know If This Article is Scholarly Or Peer-Reviewed

Peer-reviewed publications (sometimes referred to as scholarly, academic, or refereed) have gone through a review process by experts in the field before being published. These strategies can help you determine if an article is peer-reviewed:

1. If you found the article in a library database, there may be some indicators of whether the article is "scholarly". Most publications in "Academic Journals" have been peer reviewed. The corresponding icon next to the resource in the search results tells you what kind of source it is, including whether or not it comes from a peer-reviewed publication.

peer-reviewed icon

Note, however, that some articles in peer-reviewed journals may not actually be peer-reviewed: editorials, news items, and book reviews do not necessarily go through the same review process. A peer-reviewed article should be longer than just a couple of pages and should include a bibliography.


2. In many library databases, the journal title may be linked, as shown below. Clicking on it takes you to a page that may indicate whether the journal is scholarly, academic, peer-reviewed, or refereed.


3. The publisher's website for the journal should also indicate whether articles go through a peer review process. Find a page like "For Authors" to locate this information. BE CAREFUL. Do your best not to rely only on the publisher's website in case it is misrepresenting itself in order to gain money, either from authors or subscribers. If it is vague or unclear whether or not a journal is peer-reviewed, it probably isn't.

Learn more about the journal your article was published in.

  • If you are in a database, clicking on the journal title may give you more information about the journal.
  • Google the title of the journal and look for an editorial policy page or a page for authors. This will tell you whether the journal uses a peer review process.
  • Look for a checkbox that limits a search to academic or peer-reviewed articles on the results page. (Note that this is not ideal, since it will remove some relevant items, such as peer-reviewed book articles. )
  • Search in a database or journal that only contains peer-reviewed articles. (Read about the database or journal to identify the nature of its publications.)
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