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4) Find Journal Articles: Peer Review

A University of Lethbridge Library guide to finding journal articles.

What is Peer Review?

What is peer review?

Many (but not all!) scholarly journals are peer reviewed. In this system, journal article are reviewed by several other researchers in the field and must pass certain criteria before being accepted for publication. This process helps to maintain a high standard of research and scholarship.

Are all journals peer reviewed?

No, not all scholarly journals are peer reviewed. Even within a peer reviewed journal, certain types of articles (for example, book reviews) may not be subject to the peer-review process.

How can I determine whether a particular journal is peer reviewed?

The editorial information for a journal - such as the instruction to authors  should say whether it undergoes a peer review process. This should be able to be found on a journal's web site. We also subscribe to a database called Ulrich's which classifies whether journals are refereed (aka peer reviewed) or not. See this page to learn more about scholarly materials and peer review; this page also has more information on how to check whether a journal is peer reviewed.

Peer Review in Three Minutes

Peer Review in Three Minutes: What's So Special About Peer-Reviewed Articles? 

Video Credit: North Caroline State University Libraries

Copyright info: CC-BY-NC-SA 3.0

Determining Whether a Journal is Peer Reviewed

How can I determine whether a particular journal is peer reviewed?

Most databases will allow you to limit your search to peer reviewed articles. You will usually see this option on the database's advanced search page.

You can look the journal up in Ulrich's Serials Directory to check its publication information and find out whether it's peer reviewed.

What is is a database that contains authoritative information about more than 300,000 periodicals. It includes bibliographic and publisher information for peer reviewed journals, popular magazines, newspapers, newsletter, etc.

How do I look up a journal in Ulrich's Serials Directory?

To determine whether a particular journal is peer reviewed, enter the title of the journal in the search bar on the Ulrich's Web homepage:

You will see a list of results matching your search terms:

Once you have located the journal, check the columns on the left. The black icon indicates a refereed (peer reviewed) journal.

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