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Women's & Gender Studies

What is Peer Review?

Peer review is the 

"...process whereby experts in a given field help judge the value of a relevant work or ideas that they were not part of creating. The primary function of peer review is gatekeeping—selecting the best from a pool of submissions. It also serves, however, as a source of constructive criticism, whereby expert feedback by peers can be taken into account to improve ideas, research proposals, and papers."

"Peer review." Britannica Academic, Encyclopædia Britannica, 13 Feb. 2017. Accessed 26 Nov. 2018


How do I find Peer Reviewed or Scholarly articles?

The simplest way to find a peer-reviewed article is to use a database helps you search for peer reviewed journals.

Look for a check box near the search box for Peer-Review or Scholarly Journals.

Peer review check box in EBSCO Databases                Peer review checkbox in Proquest Databases

This will limit your search to articles in scholarly journals, but not necessarily to the research articles in those journals. To find only research articles:

  1. either carefully review your results for research studies (look for Methods and Results sections), or
  2. some databases have Document Type selections in the Advanced Search. You may be able to choose Research articles or even particular types of research, such as Clinical Trials or Case Studies.

Some of the databases that have Scholarly/Peer Reviewed check boxes are:

I have an article. Is it scholarly/peer reviewed?

If you have an article already and want to know if it was published in a peer reviewed journal, you can look that journal up in Ulrich's Periodical Directory. Look up the journal title (not the article itself). Ulrich's uses "refereed" instead of "peer reviewed".

Narrow Results options showing Refeered/Peer-reviewed

Peer Review in 3 Minutes

The following video, Peer Review in 3 Minutes from NC State University Libraries, provides a very brief overview of the peer review process. 

"Peer Review in 3 Minutes" by Anne Burke, Andreas Orphanides, Hyun-Duck Chung, Daria Dorafshar, Kyle Langdon, and Kim Duckett is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 3.0 United States license.