Answered By: Leslie Lewis
Last Updated: May 27, 2015     Views: 71

  1. First, make sure the item is an ARTICLE. Not everything that appears in a peer-reviewed journal is a research and analysis article. Peer-reviewed journals also contain items such as editorials and book reviews, and these are not subjected to the same level of critique.
  2. The presence of several of the following traits often indicates that an article is peer-reviewed:
    • A lot of citations: these may appear in-text, and/or as footnotes, endnotes, works cited, reference list, or bibliography
    • An abstract (brief description of the article)
    • The organization of the article into discrete sections such as Methodology, Results, and Conclusion
    • Charts, tables, or graphs
    • Formal language that is specific to the field
    • Notes indicating when article was submitted and when it was accepted
  3. To confirm that the JOURNAL is peer-reviewed, you can:
    • Explore the Homepage of the journal on the Internet. Peer-reviewed journals are usually proud to announce that they are peer-reviewed.  
    • Search Ulrich's Periodicals Directory (aka Ulrichsweb) under "U" in our Research Databases for the journal title. If you see a referee symbol associated with the journal title, that tells you that the journal is "refereed" or "peer-reviewed."
  4. You can also always contact a Reference Librarian by using one of the services available under Ask a Librarian, and s/he will be glad to check to see if an article or journal is peer-reviewed.

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