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Finding Peer-Reviewed Articles

Detailed definitions, descriptions, and how-tos for finding peer-reviewed articles

Finding Scholarly Peer-Reviewed Journal Articles screenshot of the filter limiting to peer reviewed sources


A Scholarly Article Is...

  • written by an expert in a particular field such as communications, sociology, political science, or psychology 
  • written with the intent to advance knowledge in that field by sharing new analytical techniques, new information, or new insights about a topic 
  • written for an audience of other experts in that (or related) fields

What is a peer-reviewed article?

A peer-reviewed article is a scholarly articles that undergoes an additional through rigorous screening before publication in a peer-reviewed journal. The process generally consists of the following steps:

  • Experts or professionals first conduct a study
  • Then they write an article about their study to share the results and findings of their research
  • They send a draft of the article to the journal editor, who sends the article to other experts in the field (peers of the authors) for review prior to publishing. Experts verify that data collection & analysis were valid, and the conclusions logical; suggest revisions.
    • This is why peer-reviewed articles are sometimes called "refereed articles"
      Why? This is because the author's peers act as referees; they point out possible errors to make sure the final article reflects solid scholarship and advances understanding of the topic.
  • The Journal editor returns the draft article to the original experts or professionals for revision. 
  • Finally, the article is published inside the journal

Featured Videos

The following videos are short and give great examples and information about both the scholarly communication and research process, as well as the peer-review process and the role it plays in evaluating information. 

Video source: "Peer Review in 3 Minutes" by libncsu, Standard YouTube license

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