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Research Tips & Peer Reviewed Articles: Finding Peer Reviewed Articles

Citation for a Typical Scholarly Article

How Do I Identify a Peer Reviewed Article?

It can be difficult to tell if the article you just found is peer reviewed, scholarly, and/or academic. Some journals tell you plainly, but many do not. Here are some clues to help you decide.


You can tell a lot from the citation.

National Identity in China - Contribution from the Beijing Olympic Games? A Survey among Residents of Beijing.  
By: Xiaoping Ying; Kolstad, Arnulf; Yiyin Yang. 
Asian Social Science.Sep2013, Vol. 9 Issue 11, p7-16. 10p.
5 Charts. 

DOI: 10.5539/ass.v9n11p7.

1. The article title is usually pretty long, and describes exactly what the article is about.  Often includes words like "survey" and "study".

2. More than one author?  This one has three.

3. Scholarly articles are often quite long.  This one has ten pages.

4. Charts and tables are common, too.


Take a look at the article.  

(a) Info about the authors:

Xiaoping Ying1, Arnulf Kolstad2 & Yiyin Yang1

1 Chinese Academy of Social Sciences (CASS), Beijing, China
2 Nesna University College, Nesna, Norway

Correspondence: Arnulf Kolstad, Nesna University College, 8700 Nesna, Norway. Tel: 47-9133-7205. E-mail:
arnkol@alumni.ntnu.no

The title page shows that the authors are academic researchers, and tells how to contact one of them.

(b) Info about the review process:

Received: April 3, 2013 Accepted: June 7, 2013 Online Published: August 30, 2013

These dates show that the article was reviewed between April and June of 2013.  Some articles have a "Resubmission" date after the authors made revisions.

(c) References

Look at the end of the article for the list of references.  This article has 28.

What Are "Peer Reviewed" Journals?

Peer reviewed journals are the most important sources of information for many scholars. These journals do not publish an article unless it is recommended by other scholars/experts. Often this recommendation must be made blindly, without the reviewer knowing who the author is. (Watch the video Peer Review in Three Minutes (from North Carolina State University) for a great overview of the concept).

Limiting Results to Peer Reviewed Articles

Some EBSCO databases give you this list in the left-hand column. Click Scholarly (Peer Reviewed) Journals.  (If this option is not available, select Academic from the Source Types menu. Academic journals often publish peer reviewed articles.)