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Peer Reviewed Sources: A Sequenced Tutorial

The Peer Review Process



What is peer review?

  • The author sends their paper to a journal for approval
  • The journal sends the paper to other experts in the field to read and review
  • Reviewers can recommend that the journal publish the paper as-is, publish it with edits, or not publish it at all
  • The journal sends the paper back to the author if it needs editing
  • The author chooses whether to incorporate the suggested changes and may respond to reviewers’ comments
  • The process repeats until the paper is accepted to publish

Peer Reviewed Articles


What does a peer reviewed article look like?

  • Published in a peer reviewed journal
  • Published with a summary (abstract)
  • May feature a note on when the paper was submitted/accepted
  • Like other scholarly works, full of source citations
  • Papers in the sciences usually have discrete sections (“methodology”, “results”, etc.), graphs, charts or figures; humanities papers usually do not
  • Author’s credentials are usually listed
  • Substantial bibliography/works cited list

Peer Reviewed Journals


What does a peer reviewed journal look like?

  • Peer reviewed journals usually tell you that they’re peer reviewed
    • Mentioned in the front or back matter in a physical journal
    • Mentioned in the journal information or submission guideline pages in an online journal
  • Some databases indicate which journals are peer reviewed
  • Periodical directories like Ulrich’s track which publications are peer reviewed

Non-Peer Reviewed Sources


What should I avoid when looking for peer reviewed material?

  • Newspaper articles
  • Magazine articles
  • Ads or other sponsored material
  • Book reviews
  • Editorials or opinion pieces
  • Conference proceedings

Locating Peer Reviewed Articles


How and where should I look for peer reviewed articles?

  • Library OneSearch
    • Databases with scholarly/peer review filters
  • Scholarly and peer review filter
    • Most EbscoHost databases
    • Many Gale databases
  • Some ProQuest databases


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