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Scholarly and Peer Reviewed Journals: Peer Reviewed Journals

Scholarly, academic, and peer-reviewed journals

  • Articles are written by and for faculty, researchers or scholars (chemists, historians, doctors, artists, etc.)
  • Use scholarly or technical language
  • Articles tend to be long and detailed, about research in a particular academic discipline
  • Include full citations for sources 
  • Are often refereed or peer-reviewed
  • Include information about the authors 
  • Are published by academic organizations
  • Note: book reviews and editorials are not considered scholarly articles, even when found in scholarly journals


Scholarly journals usually have simple covers, clearly stating basic information like title, volume/issue numbers, and the name of the organization or university responsible for their publication. 

Scholary Journal Covers

Peer-reviewed (or refereed) journals

Peer-reviewed or refereed journals have an editorial board of subject experts who review and evaluate submitted articles before accepting them for publication. A journal may be a scholarly journal but not a peer-reviewed journal.

Peer review (or referee) process

  • An editorial board asks subject experts to review and evaluate submitted articles before accepting them for publication in a scholarly journal.
  • Submissions are evaluated using criteria including the excellence, novelty and significance of the research or ideas.
  • Scholarly journals use this process to protect and maintain the quality of material they publish.
  • Members of the editorial board are listed near the beginning of each journal issue.

How to tell if a journal is peer-reviewed

  • If you are searching for scholarly or peer-reviewed articles in a database, you may be able to limit your results to peer-reviewed articles. Scholarly (Peer Reviewed) Journals box
  • If you're looking at the journal itself, search for references to their peer-review process, such as in an editorial statement, or a section with instructions to authors. 


Much of this guide has been adapted from pages developed by the University of Arizona Libraries and Simon Fraser University Library.

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