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AFST 100: Language, Race, and White Supremacy

Peer Review in Three Minutes

Is it peer-reviewed and how can I tell?

There are a few ways you can tell if a journal is peer-reviewed:

  • If you're in a databse that allows it, refine your search by peer-reviewed, scholarly or refereed journals or see if the resource marks peer-reviewed articles in any way.
  • If it's online, go to the journal home page and check under About This Journal. Often the brief description of the journal will note that it is peer-reviewed or refereed or will list the Editors or Editorial Board as well as provide information abou tthe peer review process under the author submission guidelines.
  • Go to the database Ulrich's and do a Title Keyword search for the journal. If it is peer-reviewed or refereed, the title will have a little umpire shirt symbol by it.
  • BE CAREFUL! A journal can be refereed/peer-reviewed and still have non-peer reviewed articles in it. Generally if the article is an editorial, brief news item or short communication, it's not been through the full peer-review process. Databases often will let you restrict your search only to articles (and not editorials, conference proceedings, etc).

If it's a book chapter, determining peer review is harder but in general books and edited collections by university presses or reputable scholarly presses like Routledge have gone through some level of review by people in the field; however, popular books from trade publishers that are written for the general public are usually only looked at by an editor and copyeditor who may not have any expertise in the field.

Using Ulrich's Periodicals Directory to Verify Peer Review of Your Journal Title

To use this, click on the Ulrich's link to enter the database (or search for it on the main library website).

Ulrich's web search screen

Change the Quick Search dropdown menu to Title (Keyword) and type your full journal title (not your article title or keywords) into the Quick Search box, then click Search. 

Example of peer reviewed journals like American College of Nutrition journallegend for peer reviewed or refereed journals uses umpire shirt

This will give you a list of journal titles which includes the title you typed in. Check the Legend in the upper right corner to view the Refereed symbol ("refereed" is another term for peer-reviewed.) Then check your journal title to make sure it has the refereed symbol next to it.

NOTE: Though a journal can be peer-reviewed, letters to the editor and news reports in those same journals are not! Make sure your article is a primary research article.