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Finding Peer-Reviewed Articles: Peer-Reviewed Articles

How to find peer-reviewed articles in KVCC Library article databases.

What is Peer-Reviewed and Why is it Important?

A peer-reviewed article, also known as "scholarly" or "refereed," has been read by experts in the field to evaluate its validity before publication. It receives a more thorough review than articles that are only looked over by an editor. If the article or research does not meet the standard set by the publication it will be rejected.

Peer-review is important because it improves the quality of the articles submitted to journals, increasing the accountability of article authors. Because peer-reviewed articles have been evaluated by experts or "peers" in the field they are held to a higher standard and undergo a more rigorous assessment process than popular or trade publications. For more on Peer-Reviewed (or Scholarly) vs Popular, see below.

Scholarly vs Popular

Most of the articles that you encounter everyday come from Popular sources such as magazines and newspapers. These articles do not undergo the peer-review process and are written for a general audience and are not typically suited for college level research.

But how can you tell?

  1. The author of a Scholarly Article will be a professional in the field.
  2. Scholarly Articles will feature a list of references/bibliography or contain footnotes.
  3. Scholarly Articles are based on and explore original research as opposed to opinion.

To view a breakdown of the scholarly article, visit Anatomy of a Scholarly Article created by North Carolina State University.

Peer-Review in 3 Minutes

A brief 3 minute video from North Carolina State University on peer-reviewed articles.

Where to find Peer-Reviewed articles?

Peer-reviewed articles are typically found in general or subject specific databases. While articles in most databases are likely to be peer-reviewed many databases provide a checkbox that allows the user to limit their search results to articles that have undergone the peer-review process. 

Example Databases with Peer-Reviewed Limiters

  • ProQuest Central
    In ProQuest, select "Peer Reviewed" on the main page, located under the main search box.

  • Expert Tips for ProQuest:
    1. Not all ProQuest scholarly journals are peer-reviewed, applying the peer-reviewed limiter will limit your results to only peer-reviewed sources.
    2. Some PQ trade journals are peer-reviewed, so if you select peer-reviewed initially, results will include peer-reviewed articles from scholarly journals and trade journals.
  • Academic Search Complete
    Under "Advanced Search" select "Peer Reviewed Journals" located under "More Options."


Related LibGuides

Science Direct

Science Direct Database:

Expert tip: All of the articles in the Science Direct database are peer-reviewed scholarly articles.