Is it Peer-Reviewed / Refereed?

Picture of Referee

Photo by gtmcknight ©

Q. What does peer-reviewed mean? What does refereed mean?

A. Peer-reviewed and refereed are synonyms for the same process. Both terms refer to a process of evaluation that an article in a scholarly journal goes through before it is published. Experts, working in the same field as the author, help to evaluate the article on criteria such as the validity, originality, and competency of the work presented. These experts will suggest areas where the work can be strengthened or improved. In turn, the author then makes revisions to his or her work as suggested. If these changes cannot be made, for whatever reason, the article will not be published. This process helps to maintain a high level of quality and integrity within scholarly disciplines.

Q. What journals have peer-reviewed articles?

A. You can loook up whether a journal is peer-reviewed by looking it up in Ulrich's International Periodicals Directory. If you are off campus, remember to sign in before you start.

You can either enter a specific journal title in the search box, or you can us Browse to conduct a broader search.

Ulrich's search box

In your results, look for the tiny referee shirt icon: refereed icon. It lets you know that the journal accepts per-reviewd (or refereed) articles.

Ulrich Search Results

Another method of determining whether or not a journal is a peer-review publication, is to visit the journal's home on the web. Journals typically post their editorial procedures and article submission guidelines on their respective websites.

Q. How do I know if an article is peer-reviewed?

A. Not every article in a peer-reviewed journal is a peer-reviewed article. Some scholarly journals also publish letters, conference notes, news items, etc. Look at the full text of the article you're interested in. A peer-reviewed article will show a string of dates, usually either near the abstract or at the bottom of the 1st page of the PDF version or at the end of the article, to indicate that the article was reviewed and usually revised.


Examples of submission and revision dates