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How can I tell if an article is peer-reviewed?

Last Updated: Jun 02, 2014  |  473 Views

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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

  • An abstract

  • 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

  • Author credentials

  • 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.

Article Citation:


  • Scott R. Meinke

Who Whips?Party Government and the House Extended Whip NetworksAmerican Politics Research September 2008 36639-668first published on January 30, 2008doi:10.1177/1532673X07313673

Answered by Brody SelleckBookmark and Share

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