Buena Vista University
 
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Peer-Reviewed Articles

What is a "peer-reviewed" or "refereed" journal article?

A refereed journal has a structured reviewing system in which at least two reviewers, excluding in-house editors, evaluate each unsolicited manuscript and advise the editor as to acceptance or rejection. These articles have more high quality academic information than articles from popular magazines or newspapers. The terms "peer-reviewed" and "refereed" are generally used interchangeably.

How do I find "peer-reviewed" or "refereed" journal articles?

Some indexes and article databases allow you to limit your search to articles appearing in peer-reviewed journals only. Several EbscoHost databases have a check box that reads "Scholarly (Peer Reviewed) Journals" (look under the green "Search Options" bar on the initial search screen OR in the left column if search results have already been retrieved.) By checking this box you will limit your results to only articles that are from peer-reviewed journals.

Some subject-specific library databases, such as PsycINFO, are comprised of nothing but articles from scholarly sources. While not all scholarly journals are peer-reviewed, they contain articles written by experts in a given field and are appropriate for research. Scholarly articles generally present information in a programmed manner, detailing assumptions, methodology, hypotheses, results, and conclusions. While it is usually safe to assume that a peer-reviewed journal is also scholarly, not all scholarly journals are peer-reviewed.

If you are in doubt about whether a particular publication is a peer-reviewed journal, contact a Reference Librarian  for assistance. You can also find out more about a particular journal by searching for it within the Ulrichsweb database. To use Ulrichsweb:

  1. Go to BVU Library web site.
  2. Select the "Find Articles" link near the top of the page and select "Databases by Subject".
  3. Click on the "General" category.
  4. Click on the link for Ulrichsweb.com.
  5. Search for the title of the journal by keyword, title or ISSN in the search box.
  6. Journals that are peer-reviewed or referred will have the "referee" icon, which looks like a striped referee's shirt.  

Also, you may wish to check with your professor to determine what is necessary for any particular assignment and what types of resources are appropriate.