Peer-Reviewed Articles : What they are, how to find them, and where to get them. Peer-Reviewed Articles The Assignment : The Assignment Usually, if you are given any sort of assignment in the world of higher education, it will involve some research and citation. The Assignment (cont.) : The Assignment (cont.) For some papers, such as personal essays, responses, or creative writing, it will be ok (and sometimes appropriate) to use magazine and newspaper articles for research. However… : However… If you are doing a research paper, research project, literature review or annotated bibliography (among other choices), your professor likely wants you to use “scholarly” or “peer-reviewed” articles as major sources. Isn’t an article an article? : Isn’t an article an article? No. There are huge differences between articles written for popular publication and articles written for the academic community. Magazine/Newspaper Articles: Facts : Magazine/Newspaper Articles: Facts Written for popular/large distribution.
Usually has no bibliography.
Written in easy-to-understand terms.
Can contain personal opinions or biases.
Often undergo a quick review/edit in a short window of time.
Can be written for entertainment value.
The person authoring the article is not often professional scholar in that field. The Peer-Reviewed Article.. : The Peer-Reviewed Article.. (also known or called a “scholarly” “research” “refereed” or “academic” article) is…
Written for a specific field or community of scholars.
Usually written by an expert in the field.
Has a bibliography and cited references.
Uses the professional language of it’s audiences.
Is reviewed by a panel of experts(or ‘peers’) in the author’s field.
Has to adhere to rigid academic standards for research and writing to be published. The Peer-Review Process(In a Nutshell) : The Peer-Review Process(In a Nutshell) A scholar in the field rigorously researches and writes an article, in hopes of getting it published in an Academic Journal (where peer- reviewed articles appear).
The scholar sends it off to the editor of that important journal… Next… : Next… The editor of The Academic Journal receives the submitted article and sends it off to a peer- review panel.
The peer-review panel is a group of qualified people in the field (usually professors or academics) who have been asked to review articles for a particular publication. The peer-review panel… : The peer-review panel… Receives the article in question (usually without the author’s information to prevent conflicts of interest) and look it over. They make sure…
The article is well-researched and the research is valid.
The article is well-written.
The article acknowledges the previous literature on this subject. Then… : Then… The panel of reviewers decides whether the article should be:
Published in the journal.
Sent back for revisions and then resubmitted. Why should I use a peer-reviewed article? : Why should I use a peer-reviewed article? You should use peer-reviewed articles in your own research because of its high quality. It has been approved by a panel of experts as being of excellent merit in research, writing, and content. Additionally… : Additionally… Most scholars(particularly in the sciences or social sciences) tend to publish new research or findings in article format.
Academic journals are usually published three to four times a year. This ensures that new breakthroughs and new information in academia and medical research comes to light as quickly as possible.
So look in journals for the most recent research! So, I should never use magazines or newspapers in my work? : So, I should never use magazines or newspapers in my work? No! Magazines and newspapers are great examples of primary sources. They give a snapshot of the time they are published and the opinions/feelings of the public. Use magazines/newspaper articles… : Use magazines/newspaper articles… To support an opinion essay.
To support research topics about the past.
To support research topics about the current news (for example, scholarly articles about “headline news” won’t be written about until much later).
For statistics, polls, interviews, etc. Use peer reviewed articles… : Use peer reviewed articles… For research papers in any disciplines.
For literature reviews.
For annotated bibliographies.
…and any other time your professor specifies! How do I tell what articles are peer-reviewed? : How do I tell what articles are peer-reviewed? This is a good question! For an article to be peer-reviewed, it has to appear in an academic journal. But many journals appear to have academic content or be about scholarly/professional subjects.
So how can you tell? Clues to identifying academic journals in print. : Clues to identifying academic journals in print. Is it on glossy paper? Does it contain a lot of advertisements? Does it have catchy headlines and titles? It is probably NOT an academic journals.
Who is writing the articles? Is it a PhD or Professor? A medical doctor? If so, chances are it is an academic journal.
Look at the inside/back cover. There will be an information sheet that describes the journal and its requirements for submission. If it a peer-reviewed journal, it will say so here.
If all else fails, be unorthodox and go to the journal’s website! Or, ask your librarian! Clues to identifying peer-reviewed journals in the databases. : Clues to identifying peer-reviewed journals in the databases. It is usually very easy to tell what is peer-reviewed in a library database. When you perform your search, most databases allow you to limit your search to “peer-reviewed content only.” When your results are returned, all of them will be content from scholarly journals.
Additionally, some academic databases choose to ONLY index peer-reviewed material. To find out if this is the case, read the informational sheet on that database, usually located under the “About” section. It should tell you explicitly. Identifying peer-reviewed articles on the Web. : Identifying peer-reviewed articles on the Web. Looking for academic material on the web can be tricky. However, there are a few “open-access” e-journals that are peer-reviewed and available online. These sites (such as the Directory of Open Access Journals or J-Gate, will allow you to limit your search to peer-reviewed content only, as in the subscribed databases). Note about the Internet! : Note about the Internet! If you have been told to find a “peer-reviewed” article for your project, be careful about what you find on the Internet! Many articles can appear to BE scholarly or peer-reviewed, but in actuality, are not. Use your “information evaluation” skills!
Additionally, if you are asked to pay for an article, contact your librarian first. Chances are we can get it via the databases or Interlibrary Loan! Ok, I’m sold! Where do I find these peer-reviewed articles? : Ok, I’m sold! Where do I find these peer-reviewed articles? As we pointed out, you can find peer-reviewed articles in a number of places!
In library-subscribed databases.
In free databases on the Internet. Print : Print Almost every library has a periodicals section or reading room. Danforth Library is home to the Considine Periodicals Reading room, which houses our collection of academic journals, as well as popular material, like magazines. Just because a journal is this room does not make it academic, so make sure you verify a journal is peer-reviewed before you use it as a source. Databases : Databases Danforth Library subscribes to several academic databases with a huge amount of peer- reviewed content. To get to these databases:
Go to www.nec.edu/library
On the left hand of the page, click on the link to “Search Online Databases.”
This will provide you with a list of databases that the library subscribes to. Click on your choice. Databases cont. : Databases cont. Here are some of the databases that NEC subscribes to that contain peer-reviewed articles.
Columbia International Affairs Online
EBSCOhost suite of databases
Sage Journals Online
…and many more! Databases cont. : Databases cont. Again, most of these databases allow you to limit your search results to peer review content only (for more information on how to do this, please contact your librarian or see our database tutorial). Finding Peer-Reviewed Content Online : Finding Peer-Reviewed Content Online Again, finding peer reviewed articles and academic journals online can be difficult, but there are a few reputable places you can check out.
Directory of Open Access Journals
Google Scholar Online cont. : Online cont. As stated before, there are other places to find peer-reviewed material online. Before using, make sure you carefully evaluate the quality and content (you can consult a librarian or our information evaluation tutorial for help).
Some databases, such as Google Scholar, may prompt you to pay for an article. Do not pay without checking our databases! It may be we own it already or can easily request it! And now it’s time for a short quiz! : And now it’s time for a short quiz! We have a few questions to test your understanding of the peer review process and where to find materials. Question #1 : Question #1 A peer-reviewed article can also be called…
A refereed article.
A scholarly article.
A research article.
All of the above. Answer: : Answer: Scholarly, refereed, and research articles are all occasionally used as names for a peer reviewed article.
Move on! Question #2 : Question #2 Your psychology professor assigns a research paper on child development and tells you to get peer-reviewed articles for your paper. You find a good article in Time, and also in the Journal of Child Development. Which one should you use?
Journal of Child Development Answer: : Answer: Although Time is a great magazine with well-researched articles, it is a popular publication, and is not peer-reviewed. The Journal of Child Development is a peer-reviewed journal, which contains peer-reviewed articles, and so it is appropriate to use!
However, you may use the Time article to back up some of your scholarly articles if your professor allows it. Question #3 : Question #3 Which publication is the peer-reviewed journal? Answer: : Answer: Psychology Today is a great magazine, but it is what is known as a trade journal and is considered more of a popular periodical. It is also not peer-reviewed.
Although Newsweek is also a good magazine, it is a popular periodical, and is also not peer-reviewed.
The Journal of Marriage and Family is a peer-reviewed journal. An academic journal is usually plain in appearance, and doesn’t include the snappy headlines or colorful covers like the other choices. Last Question! : Last Question! Which one is the scholarly article? Answer: : Answer: Although Opthamalic News appears to be somewhat scholarly, if you look at the side bar, you will see an advertisement. Scholarly journals usually do not include ads unless they are from publishers. Therefore, the best choice would be the “tapping culture” article from In Vitro.
The author has a university affiliation.
It has noted that the article was received and accepted for publication.
It has a summary/abstract of it’s content. Congratulations! : Congratulations! You finished the quiz! Hopefully you have a better idea of what a peer-reviewed article is, and what it may look like.
If you have additional questions, or would like more information, please don’t hesitate to contact your library!
Phone: (603) 428-2344
Website: www.nec.edu/library Slide 39: An NEC Library Production!