Academic articles are in-depth explorations of a topic that are generally at least several pages long. They frequently contain original research, but might also be a theoretical exploration of a topic, or describe a particular program or initiative. When a journal is peer reviewed, that means the peer review process is applied to research articles published in that journal.

The peer review process involves sending submitted articles to other experts in the field for review. An editor ultimately decides which articles are accepted based on the reviewers feedback. This process is intended to ensure only original, quality research is published. It does increase the time it takes to publish articles- sometimes by as much as two years!

Learn more about peer-reviewed articles and how to spot them with our Research Tutorials.

How can I find peer reviewed articles?

Most library databases include a scholarly or peer-reviewed filter. Look for the peer reviewed or scholarly filter in the advanced search page.

Advanced search screen of EBSCO database highlighting the scholarly/peer reviewed sources filter

The peer-reviewed or scholarly filter can often be found in the filter, limiter or refine results panel, as well.

Screenshot of search results highlighting scholarly/peer reviewed filter to left of results

Once clicked, this feature limits search results to content from scholarly, peer-reviewed journals.

Not every article published in a scholarly, peer-reviewed journal is a peer-reviewed article. Book reviews, editorials, and opinion pieces are often not peer reviewed, but may still appear in your search results.

How can I determine if an article is peer reviewed?

Use the Ulrich's Web database to check to see if a journal is peer-reviewed. Type the journal title into the Ulrichs Web search box:

Ulrichsweb search results for Journal of Higher Education

Then, look for the referee icon. This will indicate that the journal is refereed, or peer-reviewed:

Screenshot of Ulrichsweb search results for the Journal of Higher Education with an arrow pointing to the referee shirt icon to the left of the journal title