A peer reviewed journal article is an article that has been reviewed and chosen for publication by the author's professional peers. These peers are scholars in the field, who sit on the editorial board of a journal which is usually published by a professional organization or a university press. Peer reviewed articles can also be known as scholarly or refereed articles.
Note, however, that just because an article is published in a peer-reviewed journal, does not guarantee that it is a work of quality scholarship.
See the Sokal Affair for more info.
View Sokal's article.
Finding books and articles on your topic is just one step in the research process.
After locating a books and articles appropriate to your topic you should evaluate them to determine whether they are suitable to use for your research project. The following tutorial provides access to pages telling you how to do just that.
What is a scholarly source?
Scholarly sources (also referred to as academic, peer-reviewed, or refereed) are written by experts in a particular field and serve to keep others interested in that field up to date on the most recent research, findings, and news. These resources will provide the most substantial information for your research and papers
What is peer-review?
When a source has been peer-reviewed it has undergone the review and scrutiny of a review board of colleagues in the author's field. They evaluate this source as part of the body of research for a particular discipline and make recommendations regarding its publication in a journal, revisions prior to publication, or, in some cases, reject its publication.
Why use scholarly sources?
The authority and credibility evident in scholarly sources will contribute a great deal to the overall quality of your papers. Use of scholarly sources is an expected attribute of academic course work.
The following characteristics can help you differentiate scholarly sources from those that are not. Be sure and look at the criteria in each category when making your determination, rather than basing your decision on only one criteria.
Date of publication and currency
Are there any book reviews?
Beware of vanity presses! A vanity press is a publisher to which authors pay to have their books published.
For additional information regarding scholarly journals, see the Scholarly vs. Popular Periodicals chart.