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Peer Review  

Last Updated: Mar 5, 2014 URL: Print Guide Email Alerts

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What is peer review?

Peer review is a scholarly form of review for journal articles. After an article is sent to an academic journal, the editor sends it to several peer reviewers--typically scholars in the field--for evaluation.

These peer reviewers examine the paper's methodology, literature review, and conclusions. They note the existence of bias or other flaws. The peer reviewers may accept the article, require re-writes from the authors, or reject the article.

If you are asked to find articles that are peer-reviewed, what you are really looking for are articles from a peer-reviewed journal.

NOTE: peer reviewed journals may also contain items that are not peer-reviewed, such as letters to the editor, opinion pieces, and book reviews.


How do I limit my search to peer-reviewed journals?

Look for a peer-review limit on the database search page.

Peer review limit in ebsco Peer review limit in ProQuest

Some databases contain only content from peer-reviewed journals, others have none. These databases will not include a limit.

See our complete list of databases and their peer-review status.


Are dissertations peer reviewed?

No. While dissertations are closely supervised by a dissertation committee made up of scholars, they are still considered student work.

Dissertations are often included in scholarly writing, although they are used sparingly. If you are unsure if you can use a dissertation in your assignment or literature review, talk with your instructor or chair.


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