What are peer-reviewed sources?
Peer-reviewed sources (most commonly published as articles in scholarly journals) are published only after they have been reviewed by scholars in that field. Peer-reviewed journals follow this procedure to make sure that published articles demonstrate solid scholarship and advance knowledge in a discipline.
Through the careful use of references, a peer-reviewed article allows readers to explore the scholarly conversation on a given topic.
There are a number of indicators to help you identify peer-reviewed/scholarly articles. The presence of some or all of these factors will help you confirm that an article is peer-reviewed. Ask a librarian if you need help determining whether a specific journal is peer reviewed.
In-text citations, footnotes/endnotes, works cited, references, or bibliography
Article may be organized into sections such as Methodology, Results, and Conclusion
Charts, tables, or graphs may be included within the text or in appendices
May include complex language and terminology targeted toward other scholars in the field
Journal articles may focus on a specific aspect of a topic
The pages below, taken from a peer-reviewed article, illustrate some of the indicators mentioned above.
Note that the peer review process takes time, and may result in publication delays. For this reason peer-reviewed articles may not be the best sources to use for current, news-driven topics.