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Answered By: Jean Reese
Last Updated: Dec 19, 2016     Views: 118

Scholarly / peer reviewed journals are publications that are not for the general public, but for researchers and professionals in their field.

The articles contain "technical" language understood by scholars in that field and often report on recent research studies that have been done in that field. 

Peer reviewed means that the articles in these journals have gone through a review process by people who are experts in whatever field of study in which the journal specializes. Before an article is accepted for publication in the journal, it has to be approved by these experts.

Some items found in peer reviewed journals are not peer reviewed.  Items like letters to and from the editor, book reviews, and other opinion pieces are not peer reviewed articles. 

Scholarly / peer reviewed articles usually:

  • begin with an abstract ( a paragraph that gives a summary/synopsis of the article.) 
  • have a lengthy reference list or footnotes citing sources used by the author(s).
  • will often be written by someone who is affiliated with a scholarly institution such as a university or by someone who has a degree or is highly respected in the field in which he/she is writing. 

If the article describes a research study it will:

  • often contain charts and graphs illustrating the research
  • contain numerical data showing statistical methods used in the resesarch.
  • have sections describing the research.  i.e. "Introduction", "Method", "Results", "Discussion", and "Conclusion". 

To locate peer-reviewed articles:

You can use our library research databases to find scholarly/peer reviewed journal articles. Most of our databases have a box (limiter) you can select so that every item found comes from a scholarly / peer reviewed journal. 

Below is an example after using the JEWL search. 

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You can also look up a journal in  Ulrichsweb.
The list of journals that are peer reviewed / refereed have an icon (below) that indicate this status.  

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