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CMP101 - Composition 1 - Buscemi

What is Peer-Review?

Scholarly, Academic, or Peer-Reviewed journals are important sources of quality information within a given field. Each field of study or profession has its own set of academic journals. It is in these journals that scholars and experts share research findings with each other.

The articles are written by scholars, experts, researchers, or academics and the author(s) is(are) always stated. The authors are not employed by the journal, they usually work at a college or university, research lab, or in the field. 

Peer-reviewed articles are judged by a panel of experts before they are published. These are quality sources that usually contain bibliographic references and original research.

How to Identify a Peer-Reviewed Article

anatomy of a scholarly article

Check out these great resources on identifying peer-reviewed sources from North Carolina State University!

Anatomy of a Scholarly Article (video)

Anatomy of a Scholarly Article (interactive tutorial)

Peer-reviewed journals:

  • Contain articles and research by scholars and experts in a specific discipline or field
  • Articles are usually based on original research
  • Contain author’s credentials
  • Cite sources
  • Very little, or no, advertising
  • Longer and more descriptive articles
  • Uses terminology of the discipline
  • Graphics are usually charts or tables
  • Peer-reviewed
  • Articles are written to share knowledge


Here's an example of a peer-reviewed journal article.

peer reviewed journal article


  • the Journal title, date, volume, and page numbers at the top
  • The descriptive title
  • The authors and their affiliations
  • The abstract

Most include a list of references.

peer-reviewed reference list

The citations usually look something like this

mla citation example

How to Find Peer-Reviewed Articles

When searching library databases for articles, you can usually limit your results to peer-reviewed journals by using the Advanced Search and selecting "peer-reviewed", "academic", or "scholarly". Each database is slightly different, look for limiters using these words to narrow your results and save you time. See some examples of what to look for below.


EBSCO advanced search screen


gale advanced search