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Finding Peer-Reviewed Articles: Home

Guide Contents

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Introduction

So your instructor has told you to find peer-reviewed articles for a paper? Don't panic! This guide will explain what peer-reviewed sources are, and offer some tips on how to find them.

What Is Peer Review?

Knowing what peer review is will make it easier to evaluate these sources. Basically, peer review is a way of making sure that an article adds to a scholarly conversation - that it contains new and useful information and arguments, and stands up to questions from other scholars within the discipline. Using peer-reviewed sources for your work makes it easier to be sure that the information you're using is reliable.

A peer-reviewed article will typically be read by other experts within the discipline to make sure it meets these standards. Generally, a scholarly journal (like American Historical Review) will be peer-reviewed. A magazine (like People or Time) will not be peer-reviewed.

Luckily for you, many databases offer an option to limit your search to peer-reviewed articles. This guide explains how to do this in several popular databases.

But if you're not sure whether an article you want to use is peer-reviewed - for example, if you find a citation for an article that you'd like to use in a book's bibliography - an easy way to find out is to use Ulrich's Periodical Directory. The call number is 070.5 UL7 in our reference books. Peer-reviewed journals will be listed there as Refereed. If you're still not sure, please ask a reference librarian for help!

Subject Guide