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Find Scholarly Articles

What is "Peer Review"?

A peer-reviewed article is one that is published in a journal that requires that each article submitted for publication be judged by an independent panel of experts or scholarly/scientific peers to determine that the research methodology is sound, prior to publication. The peer review process ensures the quality of published scholarship.

After the paper has been reviewed, it may be accepted, sent back for further editing, or rejected.

Your professor may ask you to find items that are:

  • scholarly,
  • refereed, or
  • peer reviewed

All of these terms may be used to describe high-quality research. It takes a while to do the peer-review process; articles may not be published for one or two years after they are written.

What do peer-reviewed articles look like?

  • They’re usually long and complex
  • They usually have an abstract (summary) at the beginning
  • They use formal language
  • Authors are scholars and researchers in the field and are identified as such
  • Lots of sources listed at the end
  • Publisher may be a professional organization or research institution; usually not-for-profit


  • Avoid anything short or informal
  • Avoid articles with no references listed at the end
  • Avoid book reviews or letters to the editor

Finding Articles

  • Go to the Library Home Page.  
  • You will see the search box in the center.  Click on the articles tab, enter your search term and click Go.

Peer Reviewed

Magazines vs. Scholarly Journals

Find out what a Peer Reviewed Journal is:

What is Scholarly Communication?

"For an activity to be designated as scholarship, it should manifest at least three key characteristics: it should be public, susceptible to critical review and evaluation,and accessible for exchange and use by other members of one's scholarly community.

We thus observe with respect to all forms of scholarship that they are acts of mind or spirit that have been made public in some manner, have been subjected to peer review by members of one's intellectual orprofessional community, and can be cited, refuted, built-upon, and shared among members of that community. Scholarship properly communicated and critiqued serves as the building block for knowledge growth in a field."*

 *Source: Shulman, Lee. The Carnegie Teaching Academy. (1998). The Pew Scholars National Fellowship Program (pp 9-10). Menlo Park, CA: The Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching.

From the Evaluating Sources Guide at the University of Washington, Bothell Campus Library.