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How to...Find and Identify Peer Reviewed Journals: Making Sure: Is the Article Scholarly/Peer Reviewed?

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How Scholarly?

Sources of information can range from being not scholarly, to very scholarly, to somewhere in the middle.  Each source will go somewhere on this scale:

0  |---------------------------------------------------5---------------------------------------------------|  10
Least Scholarly              
e.g., childrens' books
Sources that are not as scholarly, but
still credible, include popular periodicals
such as magazines and newspapers.
            Most Scholarly
Scholarly sources typically
include academic journal articles.

Making Sure: Is This a Scholarly Article?

Sources that fall on the more scholarly end of the scale will typically have these characteristics:

Author Credentials

Most scholarly - expert with advanced degree (e.g., Ph.D., M.D., J.D.) in relevant subject


Most scholarly - other experts, professionals, or scholars in that subject area; vocabulary and concepts very advanced/technical


Most scholarly - extensive list of scholarly sources


Most scholarly - a university, professional, or academic press; for example: Oxford University Press, American Psychological Association, Elsevier


Most scholarly - the author's peers (experts in a subject area) critically evaluate all aspects of the work; this is called Peer Review.  It can also be called Refereed.


Most scholarly - to inform or educate about a specific topic or to describe a research study; should be objective (it may support a particular side, but with documentation and fair consideration of the other side)

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Peer Review Video (from NCSU)

Making Sure: Is This Journal Peer Reviewed?

To check whether or not a journal is peer reviewed, check the journal's website, or use Ulrichsweb Serials Directory, a library resource that you can access online with your myNOVA username and password.

  1. Enter the title of your journal (NOT the article title)
  2. Ulrichsweb refers to peer reviewed journals as refereed journals. If your journal is peer reviewed, you will see a little referee's jersey icon to the left that looks like this:

picture of Ulrichsweb referee shirt icon

Using Ulrichsweb to find out if a journal is peer reviewed