Q. How can I tell if an article is scholarly or peer-reviewed?

Here are some strategies for figuring out if an article is scholarly or peer-reviewed.

1. Use the peer-reviewed/scholarly limit within the database Most article databases have an option to limit your results to only peer-reviewed sources.  Click this button, and all your articles will be from peer-reviewed journals.  Just watch out for book reviews, which are not peer-reviewed.

2. Use Ulrich's International Periodical Directory You can search the journal title in Ulrich's International Periodical Directory to see if a journal is "Refereed", which is another word for peer-reviewed.

3. Check the journal's website Use Google to search for and find the journals website. It will usually say whether the journal is peer-reviewed or not.

4. Look for characteristics of peer-reviewed articles Peer reviewed articles have very specific features that make them different than popular sources.  See SJSU's Citing and Writing Help page to learn the differences.

The tutorial below will tell you more about the different attributes of scholarly articles and how to read them efficiently. 


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  • Last Updated May 07, 2020
  • Views 805
  • Answered By Amanda Dinscore

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