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Peer-Reviewed Scholarly Journals

When you receive an essay assignment, your instructor might ask you to use articles from peer-reviewed scholarly journals to support your ideas. A peer-reviewed scholarly journal is one written by experts in a particular discipline. After the author’s peers, who are other experts in the field, have reviewed the article and given it a stamp of approval, the article is published in a journal. This approval by other experts adds a lot of credibility to the claims in the article.

Examples of Peer-Reviewed Journals

Here are a few examples of peer-reviewed journals:

  • The Journal of American Medicine (JAMA)
  • The Journal of Reviews on Global Economics
  • The Journal of Sports Science and Medicine

Finding Peer-Reviewed Journals

You can find peer-reviewed journal articles by entering the name of the journal in your search engine. Hard copies are also available in some libraries. However, the best place to begin your search is at your college or local library, which has access to large databases, such as ProQuest and EBSCO, which give you access to thousands of peer-reviewed journal articles.

After you log in to one of the databases, enter your topic in the search box. Before you click ‘search,’ click on the ‘peer-reviewed’ option to be sure you get the right results. Most of the articles are available as PDFs, so you can download or print your own copy.

Characteristics of Peer-Reviewed Journals

Regardless of where you search, the Web or a library database, check for the following to ensure that your article is a scholarly, peer-reviewed source:

  • Academic credentials. Do some research on the authors. Check for advanced degrees in the field they’re writing about.
  • Formal language. The article should be written with terminology used by professionals in the field. For example, the article should be written in the third person, with no incidents of first or second person point of view (like I, you, me, us, we, etc.). Using third person point of view helps retain an objective tone.
  • Bibliographic listing of all the sources cited in the article.
  • Article is based on the author’s research
  • The article includes an abstract on the first page
  • Evidence of bias or potential material gain by the author – if you suspect bias, look elsewhere for a reliable source.

Lesson Summary

Peer-reviewed scholarly journals are periodicals with articles published by and for experts in a particular field. Because of the scrutiny they receive from experts, they’re considered very reliable sources for research. The best place to find peer-reviewed journals is library databases. However, it’s a good idea to check each article for reliability, author credentials, bias, etc., regardless of where you’ve found it.

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