Q. What is a peer-reviewed article and how do I find one?
A peer-reviewed article is published in a peer-reviewed journal only after it has been subjected to multiple critiques by scholars in that field. Peer-reviewed journals follow this procedure to make sure that published articles reflect solid scholarship and advance the state of knowledge in a discipline.
Some databases allow you to select for “peer-reviewed” results only. This can be very helpful, but be careful: not all these results will be ARTICLES. Some will be book reviews and editorials from peer-reviewed journals and not subject to the same level of critique.
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, 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
- Complex, formal language that is specific to the field