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Peer-Reviewed and Scholarly Publications

Professors may ask you to find Peer-Reviewed, scholarly articles or academic journals from library databases. This library guide provides resources to identify peer-reviewed and scholarly articles and journals.

Peer-Review Journal Clues

To see if a publication is peer-reviewed, check if the journal requires:

  1. a multiple-copy submission requirement
  2. an abstract
  3. literature review
  4. methodology
  5. results
  6. conclusion
  7. references

Identifying if a journal is Peer Reviewed


One of the best places to find out if a journal is peer-reviewed is to go to the journal web site.

Most publishers have a web site for a journal that tells you about the journal, how authors can submit an article, and what the process is for getting published.

If you find the journal web site, look for the link that says information for authors, instructions for authors, submitting an article or something similar.

Characteristics of Scholarly Articles and Journals

The following characteristics list provides features of a Scholarly Article:

  • Often have a formal appearance with tables, graphs, and diagrams
  • Always have an abstract or summary paragraph above the text; may have sections decribing methodology
  • Articles are written by an authority or expert in the field
  • The language includes specialized terms and the jargon of the discipline
  • Titles of scholarly journals often contain the word "Journal", "Review", "Bulletin", or "Research"
  • Usually have a narrow or specific subject focus
  • Contains original research, experimentation, or in-depth studies in the field
  • Written for researchers, professors, or students in the field
  • Often reviewed by the author's peers before publication (peer-reviewed or refereed)
  • Advertising is minimal or none

[Excerpt from Mabee Library-Washburn University]