How do I tell if an article is peer-reviewed?

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Peer-review is a process by which a new book or article is submitted by a prospective publisher to experts in the field for critical evaluation prior to publication. A journal that is said to be peer-reviewed requires that an article goes through a process of critical evaluation by one or more experts on the subject. These are the author's peers - they are also sometimes called referees. They are responsible for determining if the subject of the article falls within the scope of the publication and for evaluating the originality, quality of the research, and clarity of presentation. Changes may be suggested to the author(s) before an article is finally accepted for publication.

There are several ways to tell if an article is peer-reviewed. Here are a few:

  • Pretend you are an author and you want to get your article published in the journal in question. How would you do that? Most scholarly, academic journals include information for prospective authors about the submission, publication, and editorial process for their manuscript. For example, here is author submission information for the journal Nature. Notice it includes mention of a peer-review process. Nature is considered a peer-reviewed journal. To locate author submission information, try a google search of the journal title (e.g., "Dance Research Journal").
  • Look up the journal in Ulrich's Periodicals Directory. Peer-reviewed journals will feature a referee icon next to the journal title to indicate that they are peer-reviewed.

  • Many databases feature a "Scholarly or Peer-reviewed" limiter, which you can use to search for only articles published in peer-reviewed journals. Look for the limiter when searching Multisearch or Albert Plus for example.