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Research Guide for Students: Peer Review

How do I verify a journal is peer reviewed?

What is Peer Review?

The peer-review process is the system by which much scholarly work is judged for quality and strength.  Peer reviewed journals are publications that include only those articles that have been reviewed and/or qualified by a selected panel of acknowledged experts in the field of study covered by the journal.

How do I verify if something is peer reviewed?

Many of the library's databases will indicate if a journal is peer reviewed in the record for an article.  You can also select "Peer Reviewed" or "Scholarly Journals" from the search limits from your results screen. Peer reviewed and scholarly may be used interchangeably depending on which database you are using.  OneSearch also has the option to select "peer reviewed" from the filters on the right-hand side of the screen.

Ways to check

To check if a journal is peer reviewed, use the Serials Directory database (linked below or from the Articles & Databases list on the BC Library website). Type the name of the journal into the search box to find the record for the journal. Click on the title to open the record, and the journal's Peer Review status is listed.

What does peer-review mean?

Scholarly information is based in scholarship and research, and is produced by the scholars or experts in a particular field.  Much scholarly material that is published in books and academic journals goes through the peer-review process in which a manuscript is reviewed by independent researchers (referees or peer-reviewers) to evaluate the contribution for authority and accuracy.  

How do articles get peer reviewed? What role does peer review play in scholarly research and publication? This video will explain.

Created by the NCSU Library.  This video is published under a Creative Commons 3.0 BY-NC-SA US license.

More about peer review

Even if a journal itself is peer reviewed, not all of the content of a journal issue is subject to the peer review process.

  • Research articles, review articles, original research studies, meta-analyses are generally the peer reviewed content.
  • Editorials, Commentary, Letters, Opinions are NOT peer reviewed.