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Peer Review: An Introduction: Where to Find Peer Reviewed Sources

  • Why not just use Google or Wikipedia?
  • Where to Find Peer Reviewed Sources
  • Where to Get More Help

Need More Help?

Have more questions? Contact Scholarly Communication and Publishing at [email protected]   for more information and guidance.

Ask a Librarian

The Ask a Librarian service for general reference is available during all of the hours when the Main Library is open. Visit the  Ask a Librarian  page to chat with a librarian.

Why is it so hard to find Peer-Reviewed Sources?

It isn't hard to find peer-reviewed sources: you just need to know where to look!  If you start in the right place, you can usually find a relevant, peer-reviewed source for your research in as few clicks as a Google search, and you can even use many of the search techniques you use in Google and Wikipedia.

The easiest way to find a peer-reviewed article is by using one of the Library's numerous databases. All of the Library's databases are listed in the Online Journals and Databases index. The databases are divided by name and discipline.

Departmental libraries and library subject guides have created subject-focused lists of electronic and print research resources that are useful for their disciplines. You can search the library directory  for links to the departmental libraries at the University of Illinois Library, or search library websites by college  if you're not sure which departmental library serves your subject.

Peer-Reviewed Resources for Disciplinary Topics

There are numerous print and digital resources for specific disciplines, areas of study, and specialist fields.  To find research resources and databases for your area, consult the comprehensive directory of LibGuides , the websites of specialist libraries, and above all, contact a librarian for help !

Here are a few major databases for finding peer-reviewed research sources in the humanities, social sciences, and sciences:

  • MLA International Bibliography This link opens in a new window Indexes critical materials on literature, languages, linguistics, and folklore. Proved access to citations from worldwide publications, including periodicals, books, essay collections, working papers, proceedings, dissertations and bibliographies. Use MLA International Bibliography in the NEW EBSCO user interface . more... less... Alternate Access Link
  • Web of Science (Core Collection) This link opens in a new window Web of Science indexes core journal articles, conference proceedings, data sets, and other resources in the sciences, social sciences, arts, and humanities.
  • Academic Search Ultimate This link opens in a new window A scholarly, multidisciplinary database providing indexing and abstracts for over 10,000 publications, including monographs, reports, conference proceedings, and others. Also includes full-text access to over 5,000 journals. Offers coverage of many areas of academic study including: archaeology, area studies, astronomy, biology, chemistry, civil engineering, electrical engineering, ethnic & multicultural studies, food science & technology, general science, geography, geology, law, mathematics, mechanical engineering, music, physics, psychology, religion & theology, women's studies, and other fields. Use Academic Search Ultimate in the NEW EBSCO user interface . more... less... Alternate Access Link
  • IEEE Xplore This link opens in a new window Provides full-text access to IEEE transactions, IEEE and IEE journals, magazines, and conference proceedings published since 1988, and all current IEEE standards; brings additional search and access features to IEEE/IEE digital library users. Browsable by books & e-books, conference publications, education and learning, journals and magazines, standards and by topic. Also provides links to IEEE standards, IEEE spectrum and other sites.
  • Scopus This link opens in a new window Scopus is the largest abstract and citation database including peer-reviewed titles from international publishers, Open Access journals, conference proceedings, trade publications and quality web sources. Subject coverage includes: Chemistry, Physics, Mathematics and Engineering; Life and Health Sciences; Social Sciences, Psychology and Economics; Biological, Agricultural and Environmental Sciences.
  • Business Source Ultimate This link opens in a new window Provides bibliographic and full text content, including indexing and abstracts for scholarly business journals back as far as 1886 and full text journal articles in all disciplines of business, including marketing, management, MIS, POM, accounting, finance and economics. The database full text content includes financial data, books, monographs, major reference works, book digests, conference proceedings, case studies, investment research reports, industry reports, market research reports, country reports, company profiles, SWOT analyses and more. Use Business Source Ultimate in the NEW EBSCO user interface . more... less... Alternate Access Link
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  • Last Updated: Jun 20, 2024 1:47 PM
  • URL: https://guides.library.illinois.edu/peerreview

Where to find peer reviewed articles for research

This is our ultimate guide to helping you get familiar with your research field and find peer reviewed articles in the Web of Science™. It forms part of our Research Smarter series. 

Finding relevant research and journal articles in your field is critical to a successful research project. Unfortunately, it can be one of the hardest, most time-consuming challenges for academics.

This blog outlines how you can leverage the Web of Science citation network to complete an in-depth, comprehensive search for literature. We share insights about how you can find a research paper and quickly assess its impact. We also explain how to create alerts to keep track of new papers in your field – whether you’re new to the topic or about to embark on a literature review.

  • Choosing research databases for your search
  • Where to find peer reviewed articles? Master the keyword search
  • Filter your results and analyze for trends
  • Explore the citation network
  • Save your searches and set up alerts for new journal articles

1. Choosing research databases for your search

The myriad search engines, research databases and data repositories all differ in reliability, relevancy and organization of data. This can make it tricky to navigate and assess what’s best for your research at hand.

The Web of Science stands out the most powerful and trusted citation database. It helps you connect ideas and advance scientific research across all fields and disciplines. This is made possible with best-in-class publication and citation data for confident discovery and assessment of journal articles. The Web of Science is also publisher-neutral, carefully-curated by a team of expert editors and consists of 19 different research databases.

The Web of Science Core Collection™ is the single most authoritative source for how to find research articles, discover top authors , and relevant journals . It only includes journals that have met rigorous quality and impact criteria, and it captures billions of cited references from globally significant journals, books and proceedings ( check out its coverage ). Researchers and organizations use this research database regularly to track ideas across disciplines and time.

Explore the Web of Science Core Collection

We recommend spending time exploring the Core Collection specifically because its advanced citation network features are unparalleled. If you are looking to do an exhaustive search of a specific field, you might want to switch to one of the field-specific databases like MEDLINE and INSPEC. You can also select “All databases” from the drop-down box on the main search page. This will cover all research databases your institution subscribes to. IF you are still unsure about where to find scholarly journal articles, you can learn more in our Quick Reference Guide, here, or try it out today.

“We recommend spending time exploring the Core Collection specifically because its advanced citation network features are unparalleled.”

Image: how to find research articles in the Web of Science database

2. Where to find peer reviewed articles? Master the keyword search

A great deal of care and consideration is needed to find peer review articles for research. It starts with your keyword search.

Your chosen keywords or search phrases cannot be too inclusive or limiting. They also require constant iteration as you become more familiar with your research field. Watch this video on search tips to learn more:

how to find peer reviewed research articles

It’s worth noting that a repeated keyword search in the same Web of Science database will retrieve almost identical results every time, save for newly-indexed research. Not all research databases do this. If you are conducting a literature review and require a reproducible keyword search, it is best to steer clear of certain databases. For example, a research database that lacks overall transparency or frequently changes its search algorithm may be detrimental to your research.

3. Filter your search results and analyze trends

Group, rank and analyze the research articles in your search results to optimize the relevancy and efficiency of your efforts. In the Web of Science, researchers can cut through the data in a number of creative ways. This will help you when you’re stuck wondering where to find peer reviewed articles, journals and authors. The filter and refine tools , as well as the Analyze Results feature, are all at your disposal for this.

“Group, rank and analyze the research papers in your search results to optimize the relevancy and efficiency of your efforts.”

Where can I find scholarly journal articles? Try the Highly Cited and Hot Papers in Field option

Filter and Refine tools in the Web of Science

You can opt for basic filter and refine tools in the Web of Science. These include subject category, publication date and open access within your search results. You can also filter by highly-cited research and hot research papers. A hot paper is a journal article that has accumulated rapid and significant numbers of citations over a short period of time.

The Analyze Results tool does much of this and more. It provides an interactive visualization of your results by the most prolific author, institution and funding agency, for example. This, combined, will help you understand trends across your field.

4. Explore the citation network

Keyword searches are essentially an a priori view of the literature. Citation-based searching, on the other hand, leads to “systematic serendipity”. This term was used by Eugene Garfield, the founder of Web of Science. New scientific developments are linked to the global sphere of human knowledge through the citation network. The constantly evolving connections link ideas and lead to systematic serendipity, allowing for all sorts of surprising discoveries.

Exploring the citation network helps you to:

  • Identify a seminal research paper in any field. Pay attention to the number of times a journal article is cited to achieve this.
  • Track the advancement of research as it progresses over time by analyzing the research papers that cite the original source. This will also help you catch retractions and corrections to research.
  • Track the evolution of a research paper backward in time by tracking the work that a particular journal article cites.
  • View related references. A research paper may share citations with another piece of work (calculated from bibliographic coupling). That means it’s likely discussing a similar topic.

how to find peer reviewed research articles

Visualizing the history discoveries in the citation network

The Web of Science Core Collection indexes every piece of content cover-to-cover. This creates a complete and certain view of more than 115 years of the highest-quality journal articles. The depth of coverage enables you to uncover the historical trail of a research paper in your field. By doing so, it helps you visualize how discoveries unfold through time. You can also learn where they might branch off into new areas of research.  Achieve this in your search by ordering your result set by date of publication.

As PhD student Rachel Ragnhild Carlson (Stanford University) recently wrote in a column for Nature: [1]

”As a PhD student, I’ve learnt to rely not just on my Web of Science research but on numerous conversations with seasoned experts. And I make sure that my reading includes literature from previous decades, which often doesn’t rise to the top of a web search. This practice is reinforced by mentors in my lab, who often find research gems by filtering explicitly for studies greater than ten years old.”

5. Save your search and set up alerts for new journal articles

Save time and keep abreast of new journal articles in your field by saving your searches and setting up email alerts . This means you can return to your search at any time. You can also stay up-to-date about a new research paper included in your search result. This will help you find an article more easily in the future. Head over to Web of Science to try it out today.

“Everyone should set up email alerts with keywords for PubMed, Web of Science, etc. Those keyword lists will evolve and be fine-tuned over time. However, it really helps to get an idea of recent publications.” Thorbjörn Sievert , PhD student, University of Jyväskylä

[1] Ragnhild Carlson, R. 2020 ‘How Trump’s embattled environment agency prepared me for a PhD’, Nature 579, 458

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Finding Scholarly Articles: Home

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What's a Scholarly Article?

Your professor has specified that you are to use scholarly (or primary research or peer-reviewed or refereed or academic) articles only in your paper. What does that mean?

Scholarly or primary research articles are peer-reviewed , which means that they have gone through the process of being read by reviewers or referees  before being accepted for publication. When a scholar submits an article to a scholarly journal, the manuscript is sent to experts in that field to read and decide if the research is valid and the article should be published. Typically the reviewers indicate to the journal editors whether they think the article should be accepted, sent back for revisions, or rejected.

To decide whether an article is a primary research article, look for the following:

  • The author’s (or authors') credentials and academic affiliation(s) should be given;
  • There should be an abstract summarizing the research;
  • The methods and materials used should be given, often in a separate section;
  • There are citations within the text or footnotes referencing sources used;
  • Results of the research are given;
  • There should be discussion   and  conclusion ;
  • With a bibliography or list of references at the end.

Caution: even though a journal may be peer-reviewed, not all the items in it will be. For instance, there might be editorials, book reviews, news reports, etc. Check for the parts of the article to be sure.   

You can limit your search results to primary research, peer-reviewed or refereed articles in many databases. To search for scholarly articles in  HOLLIS , type your keywords in the box at the top, and select  Catalog&Articles  from the choices that appear next.   On the search results screen, look for the  Show Only section on the right and click on  Peer-reviewed articles . (Make sure to  login in with your HarvardKey to get full-text of the articles that Harvard has purchased.)

Many of the databases that Harvard offers have similar features to limit to peer-reviewed or scholarly articles.  For example in Academic Search Premier , click on the box for Scholarly (Peer Reviewed) Journals  on the search screen.

Review articles are another great way to find scholarly primary research articles.   Review articles are not considered "primary research", but they pull together primary research articles on a topic, summarize and analyze them.  In Google Scholar , click on Review Articles  at the left of the search results screen. Ask your professor whether review articles can be cited for an assignment.

A note about Google searching.  A regular Google search turns up a broad variety of results, which can include scholarly articles but Google results also contain commercial and popular sources which may be misleading, outdated, etc.  Use Google Scholar  through the Harvard Library instead.

About Wikipedia .  W ikipedia is not considered scholarly, and should not be cited, but it frequently includes references to scholarly articles. Before using those references for an assignment, double check by finding them in Hollis or a more specific subject  database .

Still not sure about a source? Consult the course syllabus for guidance, contact your professor or teaching fellow, or use the Ask A Librarian service.

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Articles: Finding (and Identifying) Peer-Reviewed Articles: What is Peer Review?

  • What is Peer Review?
  • Finding Peer Reviewed Articles
  • Databases That Can Determine Peer Review

Peer Review in 3 Minutes

What is "Peer-Review"?

What are they.

Scholarly articles are papers that describe a research study. 

Why are scholarly articles useful?

They report original research projects that have been reviewed by other experts before they are accepted for publication, so you can reasonably be assured that they contain valid information. 

How do you identify scholarly or peer-reviewed articles?

  • They are usually fairly lengthy - most likely at least 7-10 pages
  • The authors and their credentials should be identified, at least the company or university where the author is employed
  • There is usually a list of References or Works Cited at the end of the paper, listing the sources that the authors used in their research

How do you find them? 

Some of the library's databases contain scholarly articles, either exclusively or in combination with other types of articles. 

Google Scholar is another option for searching for scholarly articles. 

Know the Difference Between Scholarly and Popular Journals/Magazines

Peer reviewed articles are found in scholarly journals.  The checklist below can help you determine if what you are looking at is peer reviewed or scholarly.

  • Both kinds of journals and magazines can be useful sources of information.
  • Popular magazines and newspapers are good for overviews, recent news, first-person accounts, and opinions about a topic.
  • Scholarly journals, often called scientific or peer-reviewed journals, are good sources of actual studies or research conducted about a particular topic. They go through a process of review by experts, so the information is usually highly reliable.
Author is an expert on the specific topic of the article Author is usually a journalists who might or might not have particular expertise in the topic
Articles are "peer-reviewed" or evaluated by experts in the field Reviewed by an editor and fact checker.
A list of references or citations appears at the end of the article References usually aren't formally cited
Goal is to present results of research Goal may be to inform, entertain, or persuade
Examples: ; Examples: ;

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Finding Journal Articles 101

Peer-reviewed or refereed.

  • Research Article
  • Review Article
  • By Journal Title

What Does "Peer-reviewed" or "Refereed" Mean?

Peer review is a process that journals use to ensure the articles they publish represent the best scholarship currently available. When an article is submitted to a peer reviewed journal, the editors send it out to other scholars in the same field (the author's peers) to get their opinion on the quality of the scholarship, its relevance to the field, its appropriateness for the journal, etc.

Publications that don't use peer review (Time, Cosmo, Salon) just rely on the judgment of the editors whether an article is up to snuff or not. That's why you can't count on them for solid, scientific scholarship.

Note:This is an entirely different concept from " Review Articles ."

How do I know if a journal publishes peer-reviewed articles?

Usually, you can tell just by looking. A scholarly journal is visibly different from other magazines, but occasionally it can be hard to tell, or you just want to be extra-certain. In that case, you turn to Ulrich's Periodical Directory Online . Just type the journal's title into the text box, hit "submit," and you'll get back a report that will tell you (among other things) whether the journal contains articles that are peer reviewed, or, as Ulrich's calls it, Refereed.

Remember, even journals that use peer review may have some content that does not undergo peer review. The ultimate determination must be made on an article-by-article basis.

For example, the journal  Science  publishes  a mix  of peer-reviewed and non-peer-reviewed content. Here are two articles from the same issue of  Science . 

This one is not peer-reviewed:  https://science-sciencemag-org.ezproxy.lib.utexas.edu/content/303/5655/154.1  This one is a peer-reviewed research article:  https://science-sciencemag-org.ezproxy.lib.utexas.edu/content/303/5655/226

That is consistent with the Ulrichsweb  description of  Science , which states, "Provides news of recent international developments and research in all fields of science. Publishes original research results, reviews and short features."

Test these periodicals in Ulrichs :

  • Advances in Dental Research
  • Clinical Anatomy
  • Molecular Cancer Research
  • Journal of Clinical Electrophysiology
  • Last Updated: Aug 28, 2023 9:25 AM
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how to find peer reviewed research articles

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how to find peer reviewed research articles

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how to find peer reviewed research articles

Reference management. Clean and simple.

How to know if an article is peer reviewed [6 key features]

how to find peer reviewed research articles

Features of a peer reviewed article

How to find peer reviewed articles, frequently asked questions about peer reviewed articles, related articles.

A peer reviewed article refers to a work that has been thoroughly assessed, and based on its quality, has been accepted for publication in a scholarly journal. The aim of peer reviewing is to publish articles that meet the standards established in each field. This way, peer reviewed articles that are published can be taken as models of research practices.

A peer reviewed article can be recognized by the following features:

  • It is published in a scholarly journal.
  • It has a serious and academic tone.
  • It features an abstract at the beginning.
  • It is divided by headings into introduction, literature review or background, discussion, and conclusion.
  • It includes in-text citations, and a bibliography listing accurately all references.
  • Its authors are affiliated with a research institute or university.

There are many ways in which you can find peer reviewed articles, for instance:

  • Check the journal's features and 'About' section. This part should state if the articles published in the journal are peer reviewed, and the type of reviewing they perform.
  • Consult a database with peer reviewed journals, such as Web of Science Master Journal List , PubMed , Scopus , Google Scholar , etc. Specify in the advanced search settings that you are looking for peer reviewed journals only.
  • Consult your library's database, and specify in the search settings that you are looking for peer reviewed journals only.

➡️  How to identify if a source is scholarly

➡️  What are credible sources?

A peer reviewed article refers to a work that has been thoroughly assessed, and based on its quality has been accepted to be published in a scholarly journal.

Once an article has been submitted for publication to a peer reviewed journal, the journal assigns the article to an expert in the field, who is considered the “peer”.

The easiest way to find a peer reviewed article is to narrow down the search in the "Advanced search" option. Then, mark the box that says "peer reviewed".

Consult a database with peer reviewed journals, such as Web of Science Master Journal List , PubMed , Scopus , etc.

There are many views on peer reviewed articles. Take a look at Peer Review in Scientific Publications: Benefits, Critiques, & A Survival Guide for more insight on this topic.

ERIC research database: complete tutorial

Find Resources for Your Midterms or Finals: Scholarly (Peer-reviewed) Journal Articles

  • Scholarly (Peer-reviewed) Journal Articles
  • Popular Sources
  • Getting Research Help

What is Peer Review?

Peer review is the formal process scholarly journals employ to ensure that a manuscript's writing, methodology, arguments, and conclusions are sound. Peer review has long been a marker of quality that sets scholarly articles apart from popular articles (like those you would find in a magazine or newspaper).

Check out the video below for more information on peer review!

Tutorial: Peer Review

If your browser does not display frames, please use the direct link to the video provided on this page.

  • Peer Review

Library Databases

You'll want to use the Pfau Library's databases to access peer-reviewed scholarly journal articles. The library subscribes to these databases, which give you (as a student) FREE access. If you don't use a library database and try to locate articles through a Google Search or by going directly to a journal's website, for example, you'll often hit a paywall and be asked to pay.

  • Starter Databases for Finding Articles Try these recommended databases for locating scholarly articles.
  • Explore our Databases by Subject Find databases for particular subjects, from anthropology and geography to nursing and world languages.

Getting a Copy of the Actual Article

Library databases often include complete copies of the articles themselves, or full text .  On your results list, look for a link or an icon indicating that full text is available.

If the article is available in any of Pfau Library's databases, or is free on the Web, you'll be given a link to get it.

Screen showing full article is available online in one of our databases.

If the article might be in the library's hard-copy journals, this will be indicated.

If the article isn't available, you'll get a chance to request a copy through Interlibrary Loan.

Database Search Tips

Think of keywords, or important words describing each aspect of your topic, such as:

food insecurity college students

If you are not getting the results you want, think of synonyms or related terms that might get at your topic. For example:

hunger university students

You can search related terms at the same time. To do so, put OR between the related terms, then bracket them off with parentheses like this:

(hunger OR food insecurity)(university students OR college students)

Keep track of the keywords you use! You will want to try the same searches in different databases.

* Be sure to limit your results to peer-reviewed articles .  To do so, select the Scholarly (Peer Reviewed) Journals  or Peer Reviewed  box – most databases have this option. If you're not sure whether what you're seeing is peer-reviewed or not, contact a librarian or your professor. 

Citation Chasing

When you find an article that's on point, check out its citations/references/works cited list. This will likely lead you to other relevant articles. If you have the name of an article you want, the easiest way to get it is to enter the full title in OneSearch.

  • OneSearch Try a search in our online catalog!
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Evaluating Resources: Peer Review

What is peer review.

The term peer review can be confusing, since in some of your courses you may be asked to review the work of your peers. When we talk about peer-reviewed journal articles, this has nothing to do with your peers!

Peer-reviewed journals, also called refereed journals, are journals that use a specific scholarly review process to try to ensure the accuracy and reliability of published articles. When an article is submitted to a peer-reviewed journal for publication, the journal sends the article to other scholars/experts in that field and has them review the article for accuracy and reliability.

Find out more about peer review with our Peer Review Guide:

  • Peer Review Guide

Types of peer review

Single blind.

In this process, the names of the reviewers are not known to the author(s). The reviewers do know the name of the author(s).

Double blind

Here, neither reviewers or authors know each other's names.

In the open review process, both reviewers and authors know each other's names.

What about editorial review?

Journals also use an editorial review process. This is not the same as peer review. In an editorial review process an article is evaluated for style guidelines and for clarity. Reviewers here do not look at technical accuracy or errors in data or methodology, but instead look at grammar, style, and whether an article is well written.

What is the difference between scholarly and peer review?

Not all scholarly journals are peer reviewed, but all peer-reviewed journals are scholarly.

  • Things that are written for a scholarly or academic audience are considered scholarly writing.
  • Peer-reviewed journals are a part of the larger category of scholarly writing.
  • Scholarly writing includes many resources that are not peer reviewed, such as books, textbooks, and dissertations.

Scholarly writing does not come with a label that says scholarly . You will need to evaluate the resource to see if it is

  • aimed at a scholarly audience
  • reporting research, theories or other types of information important to scholars
  • documenting and citing sources used to help authenticate the research done

The standard peer review process only applies to journals. While scholarly writing has certainly been edited and reviewed, peer review is a specific process only used by peer-reviewed journals. Books and dissertations may be scholarly, but are not considered peer reviewed.

Check out Select the Right Source for help with what kinds of resources are appropriate for discussion posts, assignments, projects, and more:

  • Select the Right Source

How do I locate or verify peer-reviewed articles?

The peer review process is initiated by the journal publisher before an article is even published. Nowhere in the article will it tell you whether or not the article has gone through a peer review process.

You can locate peer-reviewed articles in the Library databases, typically by checking a limiter box.

  • Quick Answer: How do I find scholarly, peer reviewed journal articles?

You can verify whether a journal uses a peer review process by using Ulrich's Periodicals Directory.

  • Quick Answer: How do I verify that my article is peer reviewed?

What about resources that are not peer-reviewed?

Limiting your search to peer review is a way that you can ensure that you're looking at scholarly journal articles, and not popular or trade publications. Because peer-reviewed articles have been vetted by experts in the field, they are viewed as being held to a higher standard, and therefore are considered to be a high quality source. Professors often prefer peer-reviewed articles because they are considered to be of higher quality.

There are times, though, when the information you need may not be available in a peer-reviewed article.

  • You may need to find original work on a theory that was first published in a book.
  • You may need to find very current statistical data that comes from a government website.
  • You may need background information that comes from a scholarly encyclopedia.

You will want to evaluate these resources to make sure that they are the best source for the information you need.

Note: If you are required for an assignment to find information from a peer-reviewed journal, then you will not be able to use non-peer-reviewed sources such as books, dissertations, or government websites. It's always best to clarify any questions over assignments with your professor.

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Peer-reviewed journal articles

What is peer review, why use peer-reviewed articles, peer reviewed articles video.

  • Scholarly and academic - good enough?
  • Find peer-reviewed articles
  • Check if it's peer reviewed

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how to find peer reviewed research articles

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Further help

Contact the Librarian team .

Phone: + 617 334 64312 during opening hours

Email: [email protected]

how to find peer reviewed research articles

Peer review (also known as refereeing) is a process where other scholars in the same field (peers) evaluate the quality of a research paper before it's published. The aim is to ensure that the work is rigorous and coherent, is based on sound research, and adds to what we already know. 

The purpose of peer review is to maintain the integrity of research and to ensure that only valid and quality research is published.

To learn more about the peer review process, visit:

  • What is peer review? Comprehensive overview of the peer review process and different types of peer review from Elsevier

Your lecturers will often require you to use information from academic journal articles that are peer reviewed (also known as refereed).

Peer-reviewed articles are credible sources of information. The articles have been written and reviewed by trusted experts in the field, and represent the best scholarship and research currently available.

Explanation of peer reviewed articles and journals (YouTube, 1m51s)

  • Next: Scholarly and academic - good enough? >>
  • Last Updated: May 28, 2024 2:49 PM
  • URL: https://guides.library.uq.edu.au/how-to-find/peer-reviewed-articles

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Peer-Reviewed Journals: Strategies

Strategies step-by-step, strategies for finding peer-reviewed articles.

Peer–reviewed, or refereed, articles have been reviewed by experts in the field to ensure their validity and reliability before being accepted for publication. A couple of things to consider:

  • Not everything in a peer-reviewed journal is peer-reviewed. For instance, news, editorials, letters to the editor are not peer-reviewed.
  • Some open-access journals are peer-reviewed but they should be carefully reviewed. Look for those from reputable publishers.

Now, need to find peer-reviewed articles? There are several ways to do so:

Search in a database that is limited to peer reviewed articles. Some such databases are Clinical Key, OVID, and Science Direct. Other databases may have a filter to limit search results to academic journals but be cautioned that this limit may exclude articles from some peer-reviewed journals.

Check the Peer-Reviewed Journal lists for each of the MBKU programs which can be found on the library website on the Journals page of each program's Subject Guide. These lists only include journals for which we have subscriptions. There are many more journals not included in the lists that you could use and for which we can get articles for you from another library.

  • If there is a journal you're interested in that is not on you program's Peer-Reviewed Journal list, check the journal website for more information.
  • Be sure you're on the publisher's website. Do a Google search for the journal title and find it on the publisher's site, or If you're in a database, look for a link to the publisher's site there.

how to find peer reviewed research articles

  • Editorial policies
  • Author guidelines / Author information
  • Submission guidelines
  • Guidelines for reviewers (this alone would mean the journal is peer-reviewed)

If you find no evidence that the journal is peer-reviewed and want more clarification, contact the library staff at [email protected] .

how to find peer reviewed research articles

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7 Ways to Find Peer-Reviewed Articles on Google Scholar

Google Scholar is the professional place to find scholarly literature, peer-reviewed articles and high-quality, patented and unpatented research on a specialized Google platform. 

Google search is everything in 2021; one can search anything on the internet by Google search which provides nearly 99% accurate results. One can find products, literature, articles, information or any data from Google simply by telling “Hell Google” from your Phone. 

Say “Hello Google please suggest to me the best recipes for poached egg”

And that’s it! 

It will give you tons of results. 

But let me tell you that finding high-quality, peer-reviewed articles on Google isn’t that easy. The reason is that the Google search is meant for all people. Meaning, when searching anything directly from Google search, it will provide broad search results to cover all topics, products and results for all age groups. 

For example, 

When you search “Symptoms of H1N1 flu”; The results might show

  • Some common symptoms
  • Questions relevant to the topics  
  • Products related to the H1N1 flu- medication, therapies and testing 
  • Some good blog articles 
  • Global News on H1N1 
  • And like that… 

If you are a researcher, PhD scholar or scientist, these search results may not help you, I guess. You need more powerful, research-based, peer-reviewed and more scientific results. 

And for that my friends you have to go to Google Scholar. I know it isn’t that much hard to use Google Scholar but still, many research students still don’t know how to use it. 

I have conducted a small research study and asked my research students how they start searching the literature. 87% of them said, 

They go the Google, search their queries like 

  • H1N1 Wikipedia 
  • H1N1 articles PMC 
  • H1N1 article PubMed 
  • H1N1 article NCBI 

Like that, but mostly they avoid the very first segment suggested by Google itself, that’s our Google scholar,

The Google Scholar segment of Google Search

When you click on it, you will get tons of high-quality research articles. Note that Google standard search and Google Scholar search have some substantial differences, take a look at the table,

Difference Between Google Search and Google Scholar search: 

Provides broad search results for all people of all age groups and professionsProvides a specific search query and high-quality research works only.
Results are images, blog posts, news articles, images, products and services Results are peer-reviewed literature, review articles, researchers’ profile, thesis and abstracts 

There are several ways you can use this tool to find peer-reviewed articles, journal reviews and thesis. In this article, I will explain 7 ways to find peer-reviewed articles on Google Scholar. 

Search on Google: 

Directly go to google scholar: , write a topic name with +google scholar: , search peer-reviewed articles: , short by relevance: , search by author or authors name:,  search from the google scholar profile: .

  • Wrapping up: 

7 Ways to find Peer-Reviewed articles on Google Scholar:

One of the easiest ways to find scholarly articles is by searching anything directly using Google search. 

Go to Google Search using this link > https://www.google.com/ .

Search in the search box, for example, “Articles on H1N1”. 

You will get various results, see the very first results (Image below)

Click on the “Scholarly articles for Articles on H1N1”

Now you will get so many articles that are well-cited, peer-reviewed and in-depth. 

how to find peer reviewed research articles

Newbies usually don’t go directly to Google scholar, instead prefer to use Wiki or other resources. If you just have started your PhD and don’t know where to initiate, start reading articles only on Google Scholar. 

Go to the URL: https://scholar.google.com/

In the search box search only “H1N1” 

You will get various resources on H1N1 that help in your study. You will also get other relevant studies and articles, contact details, scientists, organizations or labs working in your research area, etc. 

In addition, you will get ideas for additional research queries relevant to your research. 

The easiest way to use the Google scholar database is to customize your research query. 

Go to Google >>  https://www.google.com/ .

Search “H1N1 articles on Google scholar” 

You will get a Google scholar list of articles as well as only high-quality articles related to the topic you searched.

Yet another easiest way to find the most outstanding peer-reviewed journal articles is by a consuming search query. 

Go to Google >> https://www.google.com/ .

Write Peer-reviewed articles on H1N1 

You will get the same list of scholarly articles on the present topic. 

Getting more relevant resources is yet another difficult task to complete. It’s practically not possible to go through all articles present in the Google Scholar library.  

One needs more precise, customized, appropriate and relevant results. 

Google Scholar provides a “Short By relevance” feature to find articles only what you want. 

For example, for H1N1 you will get tons of resources, some are useful and some are not!

Suppose you need review articles. 

Go to the sidebar and click on review articles. 

Suppose you need only articles published since 2020. 

On the sidebar, you can choose a year or from which year you want research articles. 

There are other options as well which you can use as per your requirement. 

how to find peer reviewed research articles

Yet another interesting way to search scholarly research work is by searching articles by the name of the author; if his/her profile is there on Google scholar, it immediately shows you. 

Take look at the example, 

Influenza A H1N1 by Michaelis, you will get results like this, 

how to find peer reviewed research articles

This is exactly the same results on Google Scholar, take a look, 

how to find peer reviewed research articles

Note that this will be fine only if you know some of the renowned researchers and scientists working in your field. 

If you already have a Google Scholar account and some scholarly articles, you can search relevant resources from the profile of other researchers as well. 

For example,

Take a look at the profile of Elspeth M McLachlan. 

how to find peer reviewed research articles

You can find all the publications and his collaboration on the Google Scholar profile. 

Read more: How to Generate a Bibliography using Citation Generator .

Wrapping up:  

Google Scholar is a significantly important sub-search engine for researchers, scientists and PhD students. If you have a Google Scholar profile, some Peer-reviewed articles, trust me you will get more citations, reads and rewards in your academic and research field. 

Use scholars and try to publish some good quality work as well. 

I hope this article will help you. 

Dr Tushar Chauhan

Dr. Tushar Chauhan is a Scientist, Blogger and Scientific-writer. He has completed PhD in Genetics. Dr. Chauhan is a PhD coach and tutor.

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Finding scholarly, peer reviewed articles

Learn how to search for only scholarly and peer-reviewed journal articles.

Scholarly articles are written by researchers and intended for an audience of other researchers. Scholarly writers may assume that the reader already has some understanding of the topic and its vocabulary. Peer-reviewed articles are evaluated by other scholars or experts within the same field as the author before they are published, to help ensure the validity of the research being done. Learn more about the peer review process .

Many scholarly articles are peer-reviewed and vice versa, but this may not always be the case. In addition, an article can be from a peer-reviewed journal and not actually be peer reviewed. Components such as editorials, news items, and book reviews do not go through the same review process.

Many professors will require that you use only scholarly, peer-reviewed journal articles in your research papers and assignments. To simplify the research process, you can limit your search to only see peer-reviewed articles in Library Search and many library databases.

Limiting to peer-reviewed articles in Library Search

In Library Search, you can refine your results to peer-reviewed articles by selecting two filters. Under “Availability,” choose “Peer-reviewed Journals.” Under “Resource Type,” choose “Articles.” If you plan to do multiple searches, be sure to click the lock icon that says “Remember all filters” underneath “Active Filters” at the top. This will ensure your results continue to show only peer-reviewed articles even if you try different keywords. Peer-reviewed articles will display a purple icon of a book with an eye over it under their title and citation information.

Filter options in Library Search. The "Peer-reviewed Journals" and "Articles" options have filled checkboxes next to their names, which indicates these options have been selected.

Limiting to peer-reviewed articles in databases

Many databases have an option to limit your search results to peer-reviewed articles. This will usually appear either in advanced search options or in a bank of filters in the search results screen.

Search options for a database hosted in EBSCO. Under the subheading “Limit your results,” a checkbox with the words “Peer Reviewed” above it is enclosed in a red square to indicate its position on the screen.

Checking the status of your article

If you need further confirmation of whether an article comes from a peer-reviewed journal, you can follow one of the procedures below.

Search for a journal title in the library’s Journals search list. Titles that are peer reviewed will have a small purple icon of an eye above an open book with the words “Peer-Reviewed” next to it.

A small purple icon of an eye above an open book, and the words "Peer-Reviewed" are enclosed in a red rectangle.

If you don’t find a journal in the Journals’ list as described above, you can consult the UlrichsWeb database . It includes information on journals that are not owned by the University, so you might want to check a journal title there before you make an Interlibrary Loan request. When you search for a journal title in this database, you will see a small black and white referee icon. This indicates that the journal is peer reviewed. You can also check the journal publisher's website. It should indicate whether articles go through a peer-review process on a page that contains instructions for authors.

In this entry for the "Journal of Social Work," there is a small black and white "referee" icon, which indicates that the journal is peer reviewed. The "referee" icon is enclosed in a red square.

Library & Learning Commons

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How to Find Scholarly, Peer-Reviewed Journal Articles

  • Peer Review & Academic/Scholarly Journals
  • How to Identify a Scholarly, Peer-Reviewed Journal Article
  • Finding Academic/Scholarly Journal Articles in Library Databases

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Confused by scholarly, peer-reviewed sources?

This guide explains the peer review process, the identifying characteristics of a peer-reviewed article, and where you'll find scholarly, peer-reviewed journal articles in the RGO Library & Learning Commons databases.

#wrapbox6161783. headerbox { display: none; }

  • What is Peer Review?
  • What is an Academic/Scholarly Journal?
  • What is a Peer-Reviewed Article?

is a based on peer evaluation that ensures contributions made to the scholarly community are based on :

University of California at Berkeley (n.d.). Scrutinizing science: Peer review [digital image]. . Retrieved from http://undsci.berkeley.edu/

Also called an academic or peer-reviewed journal, a scholarly journal:

       •  Is a type of periodical (a publication issued in regular periods, i.e. newspapers, magazines, etc.) that provides a forum for scholarly communication in a particular academic discipline,

       •  Publishes original, peer-reviewed research-based or theoretical articles are written by researchers and experts,

       •  Publishes additional forms of scholarly communication such as book reviews, editorials, conference proceedings, debate pieces, and interviews.

A scholarly, peer-reviewed journal article:

        •  Presents research studies and experiments or original theoretical analysis that advances what is understood or known in a specific subject area or discipline,

        •  Is written by the person(s) who conducted the research or analysis, who typically have advanced degrees, credentials, and/or academic positions,

        •  Often has a scientific format with sections and headings that follow the structure of a research study:

Section/Heading:

 

Purpose & Content:

Introduction or Objective

To present the research question(s) or problem and overall intention of the research study.

Background or Literature Review

To describe the current understanding and knowledge of the topic with a focus on how the study makes an important contribution.

Method(ology) or Research Design

To describe the procedures used to conduct the study, such as data collection and theoretical method for analysis of the data.

Results or Findings

To report on the new information and knowledge acquired through the research study

Discussion, Analysis and/or Conclusion

To summarize and interpret the implications of the results in the context of the topic or field as a whole, including areas where further research may be needed

In addition to the scientific format described in the previous tab, there are several common types of scholarly, peer-reviewed journal articles.

Follow the links below to view examples of a systematic literature review , a case study , a theoretical research article, and a scientific research article from the library databases:

  • Neighborhood safety factors associated with older adults' health-related outcomes: A systematic literature review. (2016) This is a sub-type of a LITERATURE REVIEW article that systematically and critically collects, describes and summarizes prior publications on a specific topic or subject, rather than reporting new original research. It features a substantial list of references that a reader may wish to consult when learning about or researching a topic.
  • Chronic Schizophrenia and Cognitive Behaviour Therapy: Three Case Studies. (2015) Common in the social sciences and life sciences, a CASE STUDY provides an intensive analysis of an individual unit (such as a person, group, community or event) in order to illustrates a problem, present new variables, and provide possible solutions or questions for further research.
  • Early childhood cognitive development and parental cognitive stimulation: Evidence for reciprocal gene-environment transactions (2012) This scientific RESEARCH STUDY presents original interpretation of data that was collected and analyzed by the authors. It uses technical and formal language with a logical structure that reflects the format of the study.
  • The unifying function of affect: Founding a theory of psychocultural development in the epistemology of John Dewey and Carl Jung (2012) This example of a THEORETICAL RESEARCH article that presents an original argument or conclusion based on the interpretation of evidence. This type of article usually refers to or contains new or established abstract principles related to a very specific field of knowledge.

#wrapbox6166979. headerbox { display: none; }

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What Do You Mean by Peer Reviewed Sources?

What's so great about peer review?

Peer reviewed articles are often considered the most reliable and reputable sources in that field of study. Peer reviewed articles have undergone review (hence the "peer-review") by fellow experts in that field, as well as an editorial review process. The purpose of this is to ensure that, as much as possible, the finished product meets the standards of the field. 

Peer reviewed publications are one of the main ways researchers communicate with each other. 

Most library databases have features to help you discover articles from scholarly journals. Most articles from scholarly journals have gone through the peer review process. Many scholarly journals will also publish book reviews or start off with an editorial, which are not peer reviewed - so don't be tricked!

So that means I can turn my brain off, right?

Nope! You still need to engage with what you find. Are there additional scholarly sources with research that supports the source you've found, or have you encountered an outlier in the research? Have others been able to replicate the results of the research? Is the information old and outdated? Was this study on toothpaste (for example) funded by Colgate? 

You're engaging with the research - ultimately, you decide what belongs in your project, and what doesn't. You get to decide if a source is relevant or not. It's a lot of responsibility - but it's a lot of authority, too.

Check Yourself!

how to find peer reviewed research articles

Recognizing Scholarly Articles

Popular vs. Scholarly

(Source: Peabody Library)

          

Popular vs. scholarly articles.

When looking for articles to use in your assignment, you should realize that there is a difference between "popular" and "scholarly" articles.

Popular  sources, such as newspapers and magazines, are written by journalists or others for general readers (for example, Time, Rolling Stone, and National Geographic).

Scholarly  sources are written for the academic community, including experts and students, on topics that are typically footnoted and based on research (for example, American Literature or New England Review). Scholarly journals are sometimes referred to as "peer-reviewed," "refereed" or "academic."

How do you find scholarly or "peer-reviewed" journal articles?

The option to select  scholarly or peer-reviewed articles is typically available on the search page of each database.  Just check the box or select the option . You can also search Ulrich's Periodical Directory (link provided below) to see if the journal is Refereed / Peer-reviewed.  

Popular Sources (Magazines & Newspapers) Inform and entertain the general public.

  • Are often written by journalists or professional writers for a general audience
  • Use language easily understood by general readers
  • Rarely give full citations for sources
  • Written for the general public
  • Tend to be shorter than journal articles

Scholarly or Academic Sources (Journals & Scholarly Books) Disseminate research and academic discussion among professionals in a discipline. 

  • Are written by and for faculty, researchers or scholars (chemists, historians, doctors, artists, etc.)
  • Uses scholarly or technical language
  • Tend to be longer articles about research
  • Include full citations for sources 
  • Are often refereed or peer reviewed (articles are reviewed by an editor and other specialists before being accepted for publication)
  • Publications may include book reviews and editorials which are not considered scholarly articles

Trade Publications Neither scholarly or popular sources, but could be a combination of both. Allows practitioners in specific industries to share market and production information that improves their businesses.

  • Not peer reviewed. Usually written by people in the field or with subject expertise
  • Shorter articles that are practical
  • Provides information about current events and trends 
  • Ulrichsweb: Global Serials Directory Extensive information about current periodicals, including editors, peer-review, contents, and coverage.

Peer Review in 3 minutes

(Source: NCSU Libraries)

Structure of a Scholarly Article

What might you find in a scholarly article?

  • Title:  what the article is about
  • Authors and affiliations:  the writer of the article and the professional affiliations. The credentials may appear below the name or in a footnote.
  • Abstract: brief summary of the article. Gives you a general understanding  before you read the whole thing.
  • Introduction: general overview of the research topic or problem
  • Literature Review: what others have found on the same topic
  • Methods:  information about how the authors conducted their research
  • Results: key findings of the author's research
  • Discussion/Conclusion: summary of the results or findings
  • References: Citations to publications by other authors mentioned in the article

anatomy of a scholarly article

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How to Recognize Peer-Reviewed (Refereed) Journals

Find all the information you need on recognizing and citing sources for your research papers. 

In many cases, professors will require that students utilize articles from “peer-reviewed” journals. Sometimes the phrases “refereed journals” or “scholarly journals” are used to describe the same type of journals. But what are peer-reviewed (or refereed or scholarly) journal articles, and why do faculty require their use?

Popular, Trade and Scholarly Information

  • “Popular” newspapers and magazines containing news - Articles are written by reporters who may or may not be experts in the field of the article. Consequently, articles may contain incorrect information.
  • Journals containing articles written by professionals and/or academics - Some trade or academic journals have articles that are written by a single person with little review. Although the articles are written by “experts,” any particular “expert” may have some ideas that are really “out there!”
  • Peer-reviewed (refereed or scholarly) journals - Articles are written by experts and are reviewed by several other experts in the field before the article is published in the journal in order to ensure the article’s quality. (The article is more likely to be scientifically valid, reach reasonable conclusions, etc.) In most cases, the reviewers do not know who the author of the article is, so the article succeeds or fails on its own merit, not the reputation of the expert.

Helpful hint!

Not all information in a peer-reviewed journal is actually refereed or reviewed. For example, editorials, letters to the editor, book reviews and other types of information don’t count as articles, and may not be accepted by your professor.

How do you determine whether an article qualifies as a peer-reviewed journal article?

First, you need to be able to identify which journals are peer-reviewed. There are generally four methods for doing this

  • Limiting a database search to peer-reviewed journals only. Some databases allow you to limit searches for articles to peer-reviewed journals only. For example, Academic Search Complete has this feature on the initial search screen - click on the pertinent box to limit the search. In some databases, you may have to go to an “advanced” or “expert” search screen to do this. Remember, many databases do not allow you to limit your search in this way.

Peer-reviewed

  • Locate the journal in the Library or online, then identify the most current entire year’s issues.
  • Locate the masthead of the publication. This oftentimes consists of a box towards either the front or the end of the periodical and contains publication information such as the editors of the journal, the publisher, the place of publication, the subscription cost and similar information.
  • Does the journal say that it is peer-reviewed? If so, you’re done! If not, move on to step d.
  • Check in and around the masthead to locate the method for submitting articles to the publication.  If you find information similar to “to submit articles, send three copies…”, the journal is probably peer-reviewed. In this case, you are inferring that the publication is then going to send multiple copies of the article to the journal’s reviewers. This may not always be the case, so relying upon this criterion alone may prove inaccurate.
  • If you do not see this type of statement in the first issue of the journal that you look at, examine the remaining journals to see if this information is included. Sometimes publications will include this information in only a single issue a year.
  • Is it scholarly, using technical terminology? Does the article format approximate the following - abstract, literature review, methodology, results, conclusion, and references? Are the articles written by scholarly researchers in the field that the periodical pertains to? Is advertising non-existent, or kept to a minimum? Are there references listed in footnotes or bibliographies? If you answered yes to all these questions, the journal may very well be peer-reviewed. This determination would be strengthened by having met the previous criterion of a multiple-copies submission requirement. If you answered these questions no , the journal is probably not peer-reviewed.
  • Find the official website on the internet, and check to see if it states that the journal is peer-reviewed. Be careful to use the official site (often located at the journal publisher’s website), and, even then, information could potentially be inaccurate. Unfortunately, there are online journals that claim to be peer-reviewed that aren’t. These are often created by publishers that are described by librarians as “predatory publishers.” To a great extent, you can avoid using articles from predatory publishers by finding them in database that are supplied by your library.

If you have used the previous four methods in trying to determine if an article is from a peer-reviewed journal and are still unsure, speak to your instructor.

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  • Editor recruitment

How to find peer reviewers - an editor's guide

Finding peer reviewers is one of the most challenging and time-consuming tasks you’ll face as a journal editor. The rapid growth in article submissions means editors are sending out more review invitations than ever before – and as a result, the review invitation acceptance rate for certain journals has dropped dramatically.

You need to find reviewers with the right expertise to assess a submitted article. They also need to be willing to write the review to a deadline. This can limit the pool immediately, particularly in niche research fields, but on top of that you also have to ask:

  • Does the reviewer have any indicators of potential conflicts of interest?
  • Is the reviewer independent of any other agreed reviewers?
  • Is the reviewer selection for an article diverse enough (based on gender, location, career stage, and so on)?
  • Have you asked this reviewer too many times? When the same reviewer is repeatedly called upon to carry out peer review, they can get ‘reviewer fatigue’.

Editors now often have to find ten or more qualified potential reviewers to secure just a couple of reviews. The good news is that there are some simple steps you can take when looking for reviewers to speed up the process. Here, we’ll explain them all in detail.

Finding peer reviewers – our top tips

1. check the references in the article.

The reference section of a submitted article is an excellent place to start when looking for peer reviewers. Here, you’re bound to find the names of other respected researchers working in the same field as the author of the article.

It’s worth bearing in mind that cited researchers could be particularly appropriate if their article is a broad review on that area of research. But beware of conflicts of interest, as authors may have cited colleagues or collaborators.

2. Use search tools and databases to find researchers working on similar topics

There are a number of different search tools and resources you can use to find reviewers. Here are the key ones:

Web of Science Reviewer Recognition Reviewer Connect

This is being trialed at six Taylor & Francis journals. It’s a service that gives access to more than seven million expert researchers, drawing from a combination of Web of Science Reviewer Recognitions’ unique database of reviewers and the world’s premier article and citation index, Web of Science.

Taylor and Francis reviewer locator tool

Our electronic peer review system has a tool you can use to find reviewers .

The Reviewer Locator tool on ScholarOne:  When an author submits an article, the Reviewer Locator searches for reviewers based on the manuscript’s keywords and abstract. You can set your search preferences on ScholarOne to ensure that searches give you the information you need to efficiently select reviewers.

This tool allows you to search for researchers based on keywords. It works by trawling through the millions of articles and documents on PubMed to find the most relevant authors to fit your search.

Web of Science

This powerful tool allows you to view authors based on number of publications by subject, helping you to find potential reviewers with the right experience for the article you’re working on.

3. Use your editorial board

Your editorial board is a great source for both reviews and reviewer recommendations. Engaging them in the peer review process will help you improve the efficiency of peer review and expand your reviewer pool.

There are a few different ways you can use your editorial board:

  • Invite board members to review articles based on their subject specialism – you could even make carrying out reviews for the journal one of the conditions of becoming a board member.
  • Encourage board members to recruit reviewers at networking events and conferences. For example, conference presenters are often useful to approach as potential reviewers or authors.
  • Encourage board members to engage early career researchers in their network, which will increase the diversity of your reviewer pool.

4. Consider previous authors and guest editors

Your journal is also an excellent source for potential reviewers. Authors of previously published articles and journal guest editors could be just what you’re looking for in a reviewer. So don’t forget to search the archives for the subject you’re interested in.

5. Ask reviewers who decline for suggestions

Invited reviewers decline to review for a number of reasons, but that doesn’t mean they can’t still help you find alternatives. You could even add a request to ‘suggest appropriate alternative reviewers’ into your initial invitation to review, to make it clear upfront how they can help you.

6. Use predefined keywords

Predefined keywords are part of the article submission process. When submitting an article, authors select from a predefined list of keywords that describe their expertise areas. This saves you time on deciding which keywords to use when searching for peer reviewers.

Once you have the keywords for a newly submitted article, you can search using the journal’s own database, or the tools discussed above, to find appropriate reviewers.

It’s important to make sure the list of keywords you choose for your journal is as extensive as possible. And you’ll also need to decide if this should be a compulsory field during submission.

7. Use previous reviewers

Previous reviewers are, of course, obvious people to go to when you need new reviews. You can find your best reviewers using the reviewer list tools in ScholarOne or Editorial Manager .

The main thing to be aware of when using this approach is ensuring that you don’t ask the same people too often – something that can happen all too easily, particularly in niche subject areas. Reviewer fatigue could prompt a previously engaged reviewer to switch off from your requests, so be mindful when approaching your existing reviewer pool.

8. Use your personal network

Your personal network is bound to include researchers from relevant subject areas for your journal, who could make excellent reviewers. The added bonus with your personal network is that the people in it are likely to be more open to an approach – and more likely to suggest alternatives if they can’t help themselves. Think about who you work with now, previous co-authors, people you’ve met at academic conferences or industry events, old colleagues, or mentees/mentors.

9. Consider using early career researchers or junior colleagues

Researchers who are earlier in their careers need to build their experience in reviewing articles. They’re also less likely to be inundated with requests, and therefore more likely to have the capacity to help. However, it’s important to bear in mind they might need mentoring or formal training – particularly if it’s their first time carrying out peer review.

Growing your reviewer pool

It’s important to keep growing your journal’s reviewer pool. Not only will this help you find reviewers faster, it’ll also ensure you’re not always leaning on the same people. Some simple ways to do this include:

  • Putting a call for reviewers on your journal homepage in the ‘journal news’ section (this invites people to register as peer reviewers).
  • Networking at conferences – conference speakers and presenters are great people to approach as potential reviewers. Take a look at our conference tips for networking ideas.

how to find peer reviewed research articles

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Types of peer review.

Peer review is “a process where scientists (“peers”) evaluate the quality of other scientists’ work. By doing this, they aim to ensure the work is rigorous, coherent, uses past research and adds to what we already know.” This quote comes from an explainer on The Conversation, which you can read here . 

A picture showing a manuscript with annotations, a notebook, and a journal.

Peer review brings academic research to publication in the following ways:

  • Evaluation – Peer reviewing research helps publications select the highest quality articles.
  • Integrity – Peer review ensures the integrity of the publishing process and the scholarly record.
  • Quality – The filtering process and revision advice offered by verified experts within the academic field improves the quality of the final article, as well as providing the author with new insights into their research.

Types of peer review

  • Single-anonymized  – The name of the reviewer is hidden from the author.
  • Double-anonymized  – Names are hidden from reviewers and authors.
  • Triple-anonymized  – Names are hidden from authors, reviewers, and the publication’s editor.
  • Open peer review – At Sage we offer open peer review on some journals through our Transparent Peer Review program , whereby reviews are published alongside articles. The names of the reviewers may also be published, depending on the reviewers’ preference.
  • Post publication peer review  – This involves an ongoing discussion of the research conducted via an open forum between the scientific community. It is the least common type of peer review and is not appropriate in all fields.

To learn more about the different types of peer review, see page 14 of Peer Review: The Nuts and Bolts of Peer Review , from Sense about Science.

A full list of Sage’s journals can be found here . Each journal will have its own set of instructions and submission guidelines for authors, so please double check the manuscript submission guidelines of the journal you are reviewing for in order to ensure that you understand the method of peer review being used.

  • Journal Author Gateway
  • Journal Editor Gateway
  • Transparent Peer Review
  • How to Review Articles
  • Using Sage Track
  • Peer Review Ethics
  • Resources for Reviewers
  • Reviewer Rewards
  • Ethics & Responsibility
  • Sage editorial policies
  • Publication Ethics Policies
  • Sage Chinese Author Gateway 中国作者资源

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Academic journals & peer-reviewed articles.

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Peer-Reviewed Articles and How to Find Them

  • How to Write a Cover Letter for Journal Article Submission
  • Academic Publishing Guide – How to Choose the Right Publisher
  • Everything you need to know about article processing charges
  • Our Comprehensive Guide on Manuscript Writing
  • The Process of Article Submission – How to Submit Your Paper
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  • Why is peer review important in science?
  • How to cite an academic journal
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Peer review is at the core of scholarly publishing. It serves to assess the quality, validity, and originality of the articles submitted for publication. The primary purpose of this process is to keep scientific integrity and filter out lower-quality content. As an article undergoes this type of assessment, it becomes more valuable. After all, the importance of this method for validating research is backed by the fact that it has been in continuous use for over three centuries.

This article shares more details about what peer review is, how it's done, and how to find peer-reviewed articles.

Peer Review

What are Peer-Reviewed Articles?

Peer-reviewed or refereed journal articles are scholarly publications that undergo a special quality assessment. A journal’s editorial board teams up with field experts to evaluate each manuscript before accepting it for publication or rejecting it.

A high-quality article should excel in the novelty, relevance, and significance of its research or ideas. Other than assessing these qualities, the reviewers also ensure the material adheres to the editorial standards of the target journal. After all, publishing an article also has an impact on the journal's reputation.

Sometimes, before the review process, the author's identity traces are removed from the draft. This type of evaluation is called a "blind" review. Blind reviews are a popular method of judging an article according to the quality of the work without letting the author's popularity interfere.

There are two types of blind reviews: single blind and double blind. In the former, the reviewer is aware of the author’s identity, but not conversely. In the latter, none of them knows who the other one might be.

There is also the “open peer review” process that still doesn’t have a standardized definition but represents a combination of different review methods. The idea is to make the classical peer review process more transparent. It covers plenty of aspects, including:

  • Open Up Identities. The authors and reviewers are aware of each other’s identity.
  • Making Review Reports Accessible. Review reports get published together with the article.
  • Open Up Participation. Not only invited experts can comment, but a wider community can contribute as well.

Peer-reviewed articles are written by experts or PHD students in a specific field and are destined for other scholars interested in or working in the same area. Since the topic of the articles is often too specific, it's impossible to have one editor review all manuscripts for a science journal. Instead, scholar peers from the relevant field are invited to do the assessment.

Most peer-reviewed articles include the following elements:

  • Discipline-specific language and terms
  • In-text citations
  • Bibliography of cited sources
  • Charts, graphs, and other visualizations related to the topic

The peer-reviewed articles are published by professional organizations or societies, universities, scholarly presses, or research centers.

All this is to say that the journal publishers invest time and effort into creating a robust system that helps review the articles before they're rejected or accepted for publication. So, when you run across a peer-reviewed journal article, it means that scholars from its field vetted it for relevance and quality. That's why some university professors may want students only to use papers that have undergone this selection process.

What Is the Peer-Review Process?

The peer-review process consists of several steps. They are as follows:

1. Paper Submission

First, an author submits the paper to the journal. That is often done via email but more and more dominantly via dedicated online platforms.

2. Editorial Office Assessment

The editorial office checks whether the article's composition and arrangement respect the journal's Author Guidelines. At this point, only the technical parts of the paper get assessed.

3. Appraisal by Editor-in-Chief

The Editor-in-Chief checks whether the manuscript is sufficiently interesting for the journal. They can reject the manuscript if it lacks originality or relevance (this is called “desk rejection”).

4. Invitation to Reviewers

The editor in charge of the article processing invites the scholars they believe could be appropriate reviewers. The editor waits for all reviewers to respond and may issue new invitations until obtaining the required number. There must be two or more reviewers involved in the process.

5. Conducting the Review

The reviewer proceeds to read the paper. They go over the work for the first time for an initial impression. They can recommend rejecting the paper if they believe there are significant problems. Otherwise, they go over the manuscript a few more times and create a detailed review. Finally, they submit the review to the journal and recommend whether to accept or reject it. Very often they ask for minor or major revision of the manuscript addressing the questions and comments in their report. In such cases the revised submission is returned to the same referee for a repeated check.

6. Final Evaluation of the Reviews

In some journals, the handling editor goes over the reviews and makes a final decision. In others, the decision will be made by the editor-in-chief. If there are significant variations between the reviews, the editor can invite additional reviewers to help them with decision-making. Finally, the editor lets the author know the final decision via email or via the journal’s online platform.

How to Find Peer-Reviewed Articles

If you're a student, you may be required to use peer-reviewed articles for your scholarly work. However, most papers can be found in a variety of sources, including:

  • Preprint Archives
  • Scholarly journals or articles

But how can you recognize peer-reviewed articles? To do so, you also need to know how to find a journal that publishes peer-reviewed papers.

First, you’ll want to visit a popular database and limit your search to peer-reviewed journals. You may have to click on "advanced" or "expert" search settings for some systems to find this feature. Note that not all databases allow you to limit your search options.

Also, to find a peer-reviewed journal, you can check a journal's web page. If it's peer-reviewed, there should be a statement about it.

Finally, you can use online library databases to look for peer-reviewed articles.

Choose AKJournals to Find Peer-Reviewed Articles

Peer-reviewed articles are high-quality, relevant, and original pieces of scholarly work that have undergone a strict review process. An editorial board and the field experts work together to assess article manuscripts for quality and relevance before publishing them in a journal. Doing so is important because it filters out low-grade work and helps bring the latest and most relevant content into the scientific world.

To find peer-reviewed articles, it's best to use online databases and filter them to show works that have undergone this process. Also, you can check a journal's website for notes on peer-review.

All of the journals from the AKJournals’ collection are peer-reviewed. As part of Hungary's oldest continuously-operating publishing house, our mission is to provide the scientific community with the highest-quality peer-review journal articles across various disciplines. Feel free to go through the subjects on our website and look for the publications you're interested in.

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The Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) is an international organisation that works to build better policies for better lives. We draw on more than 60 years of experience and insights to shape policies that foster prosperity and opportunity, underpinned by equality and well-being.

We work closely with policy makers, stakeholders and citizens to establish evidence-based international standards and to find solutions to social, economic and environmental challenges. From improving economic performance and strengthening policies to fight climate change to bolstering education and fighting international tax evasion, the OECD is a unique forum and knowledge hub for data, analysis and best practices in public policy. Our core aim is to provide advice on international standard-setting – and help countries forge a path towards stronger, fairer and cleaner societies. 

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"The OECD is a force for good in the world. All of us have a collective responsibility to use it to its full potential. Our core purpose, under our Convention, is to preserve individual liberty and to increase the economic and social well-being of our people. Our essential mission of the past – to promote stronger, cleaner, fairer economic growth and to raise employment and living standards – remains the critically important mission for the future."

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  • Our history The OECD is an intergovernmental organisation founded in 1961 to advise governments on how to deliver better policies for better lives. Learn more
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Strategic documents

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Strategies for Scientists to Communicate Volcanic Hazard to the Public when Threat of Eruption is Low

  • Hufstetler, Rebeckah S.
  • Smith, Hollie M.
  • Hooft, Emilie E. E.
  • Walton, Dean

Many studies focus on the best way to communicate volcanic information during a crisis event. Because of the urgency during crisis, many of crisis communication studies find that the issues that arise during volcanic crises can often be mitigated during the 'quiet times' between eruptions. This project addresses how to engage the population near a volcano that is in this period of quiescence. The goal is to synthesize peer-reviewed research that investigates volcano hazard communication when the threat of eruption is low. By doing this, we will provide scientists and others working with the public recommendations for communication materials. This synthesis will offer suggestions from the academic literature for effectively engaging the public in communication about volcanos, what content messages could include, and what mediums are available to reach different audiences. These recommendations are intended to provide a baseline for scientists to think about the multiple ways to engage with the variety of audiences that live around their volcano of study; they are not intended to be a rigid formula that applies to every population. We have systematically gathered peer reviewed articles from Web of Science, Georef, and Google Scholar, using specific search terms generated through consultation with a University of Oregon librarian. Through the use of specific exclusion criteria, we have narrowed down the 330 resulting papers to a final list of 34 studies that provide suggestions on volcano communications during periods of quiescence. This project will use the advice found in these studies to create a reference for scientists as they create communication materials to disseminate to the public regarding a volcano. The results found include different mediums, such as virtual reality, hazard maps, films, social media, and various online tools that a scientist can utilize to convey their findings. There are also recommendations for different audiences, such as tourists, children, rural communities, and indigenous populations. By synthesizing the findings of these studies into a single document for a scientist to reference, we can help scientists to best engage the public in learning about a volcano during quiescence.

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  1. Google Scholar

    Google Scholar provides a simple way to broadly search for scholarly literature. Search across a wide variety of disciplines and sources: articles, theses, books, abstracts and court opinions.

  2. Where to Find Peer Reviewed Sources

    It isn't hard to find peer-reviewed sources: you just need to know where to look! If you start in the right place, you can usually find a relevant, peer-reviewed source for your research in as few clicks as a Google search, and you can even use many of the search techniques you use in Google and Wikipedia.

  3. Where to find peer reviewed articles for research

    3. Filter your search results and analyze trends. Group, rank and analyze the research articles in your search results to optimize the relevancy and efficiency of your efforts. In the Web of Science, researchers can cut through the data in a number of creative ways. This will help you when you're stuck wondering where to find peer reviewed ...

  4. Research Guides: Finding Scholarly Articles: Home

    To search for scholarly articles in HOLLIS, type your keywords in the box at the top, and select Catalog&Articles from the choices that appear next. On the search results screen, look for the Show Only section on the right and click on Peer-reviewed articles. (Make sure to login in with your HarvardKey to get full-text of the articles that ...

  5. What is Peer Review?

    Peer reviewed articles are found in scholarly journals. The checklist below can help you determine if what you are looking at is peer reviewed or scholarly. Both kinds of journals and magazines can be useful sources of information. Popular magazines and newspapers are good for overviews, recent news, first-person accounts, and opinions about a ...

  6. Find peer-reviewed articles

    Library Search has an option to limit your results to peer-reviewed journals. Go to Library Search; Enter your search terms; Click Search; On the results page, select these filters: Peer-reviewed; Articles; Click Apply Filters; Be aware that not all articles in peer-reviewed journals are refereed or peer reviewed, for example, editorials and ...

  7. PDF A Guide to Peer Reviewing Journal Articles

    Introduction to this guide. Peer review is an integral component of publishing the best quality research. Its purpose is to: 1. Aid in the vetting and selection of research for publication, ensuring that the best work is taken forward 2. Provide suggestions for improving articles that go through review, raising the general quality of published ...

  8. Peer-reviewed or Refereed

    Peer review is a process that journals use to ensure the articles they publish represent the best scholarship currently available. When an article is submitted to a peer reviewed journal, the editors send it out to other scholars in the same field (the author's peers) to get their opinion on the quality of the scholarship, its relevance to the ...

  9. Find and Read Articles

    PLOS publishes a suite of peer-reviewed Open Access journals that feature quality research, expert commentary, and critical analysis across all scientific disciplines. Use these tools from PLOS to find and choose the articles you want to read: Use the search bar (above) on any journal page. Find articles by journal, subject, and other criteria.

  10. Check if it's peer reviewed

    If you can find no evidence that a journal is peer reviewed, but you are required to have a refereed article, you may need to choose a different article. << Previous: Find peer-reviewed articles Last Updated: May 28, 2024 2:49 PM

  11. How to know if an article is peer reviewed [6 key features]

    A peer reviewed article refers to a work that has been thoroughly assessed, and based on its quality, has been accepted for publication in a scholarly journal. The aim of peer reviewing is to publish articles that meet the standards established in each field. This way, peer reviewed articles that are published can be taken as models of research practices.

  12. Scholarly (Peer-reviewed) Journal Articles

    Peer review is the formal process scholarly journals employ to ensure that a manuscript's writing, methodology, arguments, and conclusions are sound. Peer review has long been a marker of quality that sets scholarly articles apart from popular articles (like those you would find in a magazine or newspaper).

  13. Academic Guides: Evaluating Resources: Peer Review

    documenting and citing sources used to help authenticate the research done. The standard peer review process only applies to journals. While scholarly writing has certainly been edited and reviewed, peer review is a specific process only used by peer-reviewed journals. Books and dissertations may be scholarly, but are not considered peer reviewed.

  14. Overview of peer review

    Your lecturers will often require you to use information from academic journal articles that are peer reviewed (also known as refereed). Peer-reviewed articles are credible sources of information. The articles have been written and reviewed by trusted experts in the field, and represent the best scholarship and research currently available.

  15. Strategies

    Author guidelines / Author information. Submission guidelines. Guidelines for reviewers (this alone would mean the journal is peer-reviewed) If you find no evidence that the journal is peer-reviewed and want more clarification, contact the library staff at [email protected]. Last Updated: May 31, 2024 11:04 AM.

  16. 7 Ways to Find Peer-Reviewed Articles on Google Scholar

    There are several ways you can use this tool to find peer-reviewed articles, journal reviews and thesis. In this article, I will explain 7 ways to find peer-reviewed articles on Google Scholar. 7 Ways to find Peer-Reviewed articles on Google Scholar: Search on Google: Directly go to Google Scholar: Write a topic name with +Google scholar ...

  17. Finding scholarly, peer reviewed articles

    When you search for a journal title in this database, you will see a small black and white referee icon. This indicates that the journal is peer reviewed. You can also check the journal publisher's website. It should indicate whether articles go through a peer-review process on a page that contains instructions for authors. In this entry for ...

  18. How to Find Scholarly, Peer-Reviewed Journal Articles

    In addition to the scientific format described in the previous tab, there are several common types of scholarly, peer-reviewed journal articles. Follow the links below to view examples of a systematic literature review, a case study, a theoretical research article, and a scientific research article from the library databases:

  19. Explore Information

    Peer reviewed articles have undergone review (hence the "peer-review") by fellow experts in that field, as well as an editorial review process. The purpose of this is to ensure that, as much as possible, the finished product meets the standards of the field. Peer reviewed publications are one of the main ways researchers communicate with each ...

  20. How to Recognize Peer-Reviewed Journals

    Check in and around the masthead to locate the method for submitting articles to the publication. If you find information similar to "to submit articles, send three copies…", the journal is probably peer-reviewed. In this case, you are inferring that the publication is then going to send multiple copies of the article to the journal's ...

  21. How to find peer reviewers

    Finding peer reviewers - our top tips. 1. Check the references in the article. The reference section of a submitted article is an excellent place to start when looking for peer reviewers. Here, you're bound to find the names of other respected researchers working in the same field as the author of the article.

  22. ACS Publications

    ACS Publications provides high quality peer-reviewed journals, research articles, and information products and services supporting advancement across all fields of chemical sciences. ... From agriculture to pharmaceuticals, discover how our peer-reviewed journals, e-books, and educational content can provide new insight in the most important ...

  23. Types of Peer Review

    Peer review brings academic research to publication in the following ways: Evaluation - Peer reviewing research helps publications select the highest quality articles.; Integrity - Peer review ensures the integrity of the publishing process and the scholarly record.; Quality - The filtering process and revision advice offered by verified experts within the academic field improves the ...

  24. Google Scholar

    Find articles. with all of the words. with the exact phrase. with at least one of the words. without the words. where my words occur. anywhere in the article. in the title of the article. Return articles authored by. e.g., "PJ Hayes" or McCarthy. Return articles published in. e.g., J Biol Chem or Nature.

  25. Academic Journals & Peer-Reviewed Articles

    Search Tools. Discovery Search This link opens in a new window - Search across multiple databases; Databases A-Z - Search individual databases; Journals & Newspapers by Title This link opens in a new window - Search or browse individual journals; Subject Guides - Recommended resources by subject.; Topic Guides - Resources and guidance on important topics.; Virtual Displays - Curated book and ...

  26. Peer-Reviewed Articles and How to Find Them

    The peer-reviewed articles are published by professional organizations or societies, universities, scholarly presses, or research centers. All this is to say that the journal publishers invest time and effort into creating a robust system that helps review the articles before they're rejected or accepted for publication.

  27. The Journal of Climate Change and Health

    The Journal of Climate Change and Health is a worldwide scientific peer reviewed gold open access medical journal that seeks to publish high quality scientific works related to acute and chronic climate related disasters, migration, changing patterns of disease and the impacts of climate change on individuals and health systems.. The journal seeks to publish articles related to best practices ...

  28. AI Instructional Framework: A Comprehensive Approach to ...

    We reviewed titles and abstracts of 1405 articles drawn from management, education, information systems, and psychology literature before examining and individually coding a relevant subset of 80 ...

  29. About

    Research and working papers with deep dives and findings. ... stakeholders and citizens to establish evidence-based international standards and to find solutions to social, economic and environmental challenges. ... The OECD informs policies and creates global standards through multi-stakeholder collaboration and intensive peer learning. Learn ...

  30. Strategies for Scientists to Communicate Volcanic Hazard to the Public

    The goal is to synthesize peer-reviewed research that investigates volcano hazard communication when the threat of eruption is low. By doing this, we will provide scientists and others working with the public recommendations for communication materials. ... We have systematically gathered peer reviewed articles from Web of Science, Georef, and ...