In a peer-reviewed journal (also known as refereed) drafts of articles are critically assessed by other scholars in the author's field or specialty before they are accepted for publication. Peer review is the accepted method for ensuring that information is of the highest quality. Just because a journal is peer reviewed does not guarantee that all articles in it are included in the peer review process. Some article types, such as news items, editorials and book and article reviews, may not be peer-reviewed.
- Ulrich’s Periodicals Directory call number Reference Z6941.U450 volume 4 pages 5455-5576
- Magazines for Libraries (sometimes called Katz's) call number Reference PN4832.M23
- InfoTrac, EBSCO, and other databases have the option of limiting your search to refereed journals
- FirstSearch databases often say if journals are peer-reviewed in the citation and also have the option of limiting your search to refereed journals
- PubMed journals are peer-reviewed/refereed
You can also learn much about a journal from its Web site. If the information about the journal itself on its home page does not identify it as refereed or peer reviewed, look for a heading such as "Notes to Contributors" or "Submission Guidelines".
Journals indexed in discipline-specific or interdisciplinary databases are usually acceptable. Many of the Delta Library databases give you an option of limiting your search to scholarly journals and/or peer-reviewed/refereed journal articles. However, doing so may lead to overlooking significant research on a given topic.
Check with your teacher or a librarian if there is any doubt about the credentials of a document.
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Last updated: 5/10/2010