Finding out if an Article or Journal is Peer Reviewed

You may be required to use peer-reviewed or refereed journal articles in your assignments. These are reliable sources of information appropriate for academic writing.

What does Peer reviewed or refereed mean?

Articles published in peer-reviewed or refereed journals have been through a formal approval process. An editor and one or more subject specialists review the article before it is accepted for publication. This process is intended to ensure that the article is accurate, well-researched, and contributes to the body of knowledge in the field.

The Library's Primo Search search tool, and some journal databases such as EBSCOhost include an option of limiting your search to scholarly or peer reviewed articles, while others such as A+ Education [Informit] and PsycINFO include this information in the database record. ie:

While this is an indication that the article could be peer reviewed the definitive way to find out is to use Ulrichsweb.

  1. Select the Ulrichsweb Global Serials Directory from the list of CSU Library Databases - U.
  2. Enter the name of the journal in which your article was published and click on the search icon.
    ulrich search screen
  3. You can either refine your search to show only Refereed/Peer Reviewed journals by placing a ticking the check box in the "+" column on the left hand menu; or
  4. From the menu bar that appears above your list of results click on Select Columns.ulirich toolbar
  5. From the list that appears you can make a selection of the columns/information that you would like displayed next to your list of results.
  6. You should place a tick in the box next to the referee's jumper Refereed Iconand click on submit. Refereed/reviewed journal titles can then be easily identified by this icon in your list of results.
    Ulrich's results screen
  7. Clicking on the title of the journal will also provide you with a full description of the journal, including details such as content type (eg academic/scholarly journal, newsletter/bulletin, newspaper, trade journal, magazine), a description of the coverage of the journal and a link to the publishers' Web site.

Alternatively, if you have located an article through Primo Search, you can look for the journal entry in Ulrichsweb by clicking on More Options, and selecting Check Ulrich's: Is this journal peer reviewed (refereed)?

The Ulrichsweb entry will show "Refereed - Yes" if the journal is peer reviewed, but will not include any information about refereed or peer reviewed content if it is not.

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