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Peer Reviewed Sources: Non-Peer Reviewed Sources


    Is everything in a peer reviewed journal peer reviewed?

    What should I avoid when looking for peer reviewed material?


There are some kinds of publications that should be avoided when searching for peer reviewed material.  They are:



Newspaper articles aren’t written by experts on their topics.  While they do undergo review by an editor, they don’t receive peer review and are often biased to some degree.  This doesn’t negate their value, however, as tools to establish current or historical context.



Similarly to newspaper articles, magazine articles might be edited but they usually don’t get peer reviewed.  These can also be tools used to establish public opinion about a topic, or to gain current or historical context.


Ads or Other Sponsored Material

Advertisements-- which include material labeled as “sponsored”-- are paid for by companies or individuals intending to promote something for sale or similar purposes.  They are unlikely to be seen in peer reviewed publications.


Editorials or Opinion Pieces

Editorials and/or opinion pieces are written by a single author to give their opinion on a topic.  They aren’t reviewed for publication.


Book Reviews

Book reviews are sometimes included in peer reviewed publications.  They can be full of useful information on whether a book is a good source-- they are not, however, reviewed themselves.


Conference Proceedings

Conference proceedings may appear in academic or professional journals.  They aren’t peer reviewed, since they simply list what sessions took place at a given conference.

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