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Peer-Reviewed Explained

How to find peer reviewed articles

What is Peer-review? Terminology Confusion

The term peer review can be very confusing, because it is possible in some classes you may be asked to review the work of your peers. However, when your professor wants you to find/use "peer-reviewed" article in your assigned papers, this has nothing to do with your peers/friends!

What is it then? Peer-reviewed journals contain scholarly articles that have been reviewed by a panel of scholars or experts in a particular discipline before publication.

Below terms synonymously used:

  • blind peer review article 
  • scholarly peer review article 
  • refereeing or refereed article

Adopted from UCSanDiego Library Guide:


Not all scholarly articles are considered peer-reviewed!

If you've been asked to find "scholarly" articles:

  • Clarify with your classroom professor if peer reviewed articles are required.

Peer reviewed journals are generally scholarly, but not all scholarly journals are peer reviewed.

A comparison of peer-reviewed and scholarly journals. Adapted from "What's the difference between scholarly and peer-reviewed articles?" by University of Toronto Libraries. Retrieved from


You can read more about the peer review process here.


G.R. Little Library

Elizabeth City State University