Is This Journal Article Scholarly or Peer Reviewed

Scholarly articles are written by researchers and intended for an audience of other researchers. Scholarly writers may assume that the reader already has some understanding of the topic and its vocabulary.

If you are required to use only scholarly and peer-reviewed sources, you will need to limit your search accordingly. When searching in databases or Library Search, check a limiter that says Scholarly and/or Peer Reviewed, if one is available.

If you need further confirmation of whether an article comes from a peer-reviewed journal, you can follow one of the procedures below.

Search for a journal title in the library’s Journals list. Titles that are peer reviewed will have a small purple icon of an eye above an open book with the words Peer-Reviewed next to it.

Screenshot of a journal that is "peer reviewed." A small purple icon of an eye above an open book, and the words "Peer-Reviewed" are enclosed in a red rectangle. The screenshot also includes the journal's title, European Journal of Epidemiology. “1985-“ is under the title, indicating the library holds publications from this journal from 1985 to present. At the bottom of the screenshot, the “Available Online” link is in green.


If you don’t find a journal in the list as described above, you can consult the UlrichsWeb database. It includes information on journals that are not owned by the University, so you might want to check a journal title there before you make an Interlibrary Loan request. When you search for a journal title in this database, you will see a small black and white referee icon. This indicates that the journal is peer reviewed. You can also check the journal publisher's website. It should indicate whether articles go through a peer-review process on a page that contains instructions for authors.

Screenshot of a journal that is "peer reviewed" from the UlrichWeb database. In this entry for the "Journal of Social Work," there is a small black and white "referee" icon, which indicates that the journal is peer reviewed. The "referee" icon is enclosed in a ‘red square. The screenshot also shows icons for a blue "e" (electronic), a blue "open lock" (open access), and a yellow "star" (reviewed).

Note: many scholarly journals are also peer reviewed, but not all of them are. In addition, an article can be from a peer-reviewed journal and not actually be peer reviewed. Components such as editorials, news items, and book reviews do not go through the same review process.