Finding Journal Articles tutorials come in four main parts.
- Part 1: Overview
- Part 2: Searching
- Part 3: Peer review
- Part 4: Not in Summon?
This tutorial (Part 3) describes the differences between the quality of Journals, discusses the terminologies of Academic, or Scholarly and Peer reviewed Journals and demonstrates how to determine if a Journal is Peer reviewed.
Academic or Scholarly Journals
Journal quality overview
There are a wide range of Journals on the market and some are more reputable than others.
- Popular journals (also known as magazines) generally report on entertainment and leisure examples include Who magazine and Rolling Stone.
- Professional or trade journals are written specifically for specialists in a particular industry. They are useful in that they may contain practical information, current news and trends for that industry. Examples of trade journals include the Advertising Age and Nursing Times.
- Scholarly or Academic Journals report on original academic research. Scholarly Journals are subject specific, detailed and are often submitted to a review board for an independent assessment prior to publication.
- Peer reviewed Journals are rigorously assessed by professionals and academics in that specific field before they may be approved for publication. These are, by far, the best journals in which to publish your work or to use in your research.
Peer reviewed Journals are Scholarly (or academic) however not all Scholarly Journals are peer reviewed. For example the journal Archaeology in Oceania is a Scholarly Journal but not a Peer reviewed Journal, whereas World Archaeology is a Scholarly Journal that is Peer reviewed.
Not sure if it is Peer reviewed?
If you are not sure whether the Journals you are using in your research are Peer reviewed, there is a quick and easy way to find out. All you need to do is check if the Journal Title has been listed as peer reviewed (or refereed) within the database Ulrichsweb.
Ulrichsweb contains bibliographic and publisher information on more than 300,000 Journals. It is one of the databases listed in the A-Z list.
- Go to Quick search databases by A-Z list on the Library homepage
- Scroll down to U
- Expand the list of databases located under U using the + (plus sign)
- Select Ulrichsweb
- Enter the Journal Title into the search box
- Enter Zoological Science
- Click on Search
- Look for the referee symbol in the results list
The “referee” symbol (icon of a striped jumper) indicates the Journal is Peer reviewed (or refereed). This is located within the results list on the same line as the Journal Title. Ulrichsweb has 4 columns prior to the Journal title details. The referee symbol is located in the second column. If there is no referee symbol in the second column, the Journal Title is not Peer reviewed (or refereed).
Databases holding Peer reviewed Journals
Some databases only contain peer reviewed journal articles. Library Subject Guides > Journals & Databases pages usually contain information about the databases in a specific subject area. If a database contains only peer reviewed information, it is usually described as such. For example:
"BioOne provides access to peer-reviewed journals in the biological sciences published by small societies and non-commercial publishers in the United States."
Other databases will have a checkbox to select only peer reviewed articles in a search, for example:
"The Gale Databases include peer-reviewed journal articles, ebooks and online encyclopedias on a range of subjects."
Pre-select a box to ensure your searches will ONLY return Peer reviewed Journal articles. ProQuest is an example of one these types of databases. The Peer reviewed checkbox is located below the search fields and beside the checkbox to find "Full Text" articles.
Peer review in the Library Search
Find Scholarly including Peer reviewed articles
Library Search also allows you to Refine your search to ensure the articles are from scholarly (including peer reviewed) sources.
- From the Library homepage
- Enter a search, for example, Climate change
- Click on search
- On the results page, under Show Only (located on the left hand side), select Peer-Reviewed Journals
This will update the search results and show only the peer reviewed journal article results.
To ensure an article is from a Peer reviewed Journal, use Ulrichsweb to cross check the journal publication.