What is a peer-reviewed journal and how do I know if a journal is peer-reviewed?


What is a peer-reviewed journal?

Unlike magazines, newspapers, or other information sources, peer-reviewed journals (also called refereed or scholarly journals) include articles that were written by subject experts and reviewed by subject experts (peers).

A peer-reviewed journal has an editorial board made up of subject experts. For example, the Journal of Contemporary Chiropractic has an editorial board made up mostly of chiropractors with a Doctor of Chiropractic degree. Before an article is published, at least one peer-reviewer from the editorial board will review the article. In most cases, the peer-reviewer will return the article to the author(s) for revisions before the final draft is published.

How do I tell if a journal is peer-reviewed?

The best way to know if a journal is peer-reviewed is by visiting the official website and looking for an editorial board or team. Many library databases also indicate if a journal is peer-reviewed or not. Some databases refer to peer-reviewed journals as Scholarly Journals.

Note: Not all articles published in peer-reviewed journals are peer-reviewed. For example, letters to the editor or reviews do not go through peer review. Typically, a peer-reviewed article will include several references. A non-reviewed article will include few if any, references.


  • Last Updated Jan 12, 2024
  • Views 0
  • Answered By Amy Ferguson, Academic Success Librarian

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