Answered By: Terri Bogan
Last Updated: May 30, 2023     Views: 90

Peer reviewed articles are a type of scholarly journal article (as opposed to popular magazine articles). I'm embedding a video below that discusses the difference between these two types. Scholarly/peer reviewed articles are meant to be used by scholars and professionals; popular magazine articles are written to the general public. For instance, it would be the difference between articles found in Journal of Psychotherapy and articles found in a pop psychology magazine like Psychology Today.

Peer-reviewed (also called adjudicated or refereed) articles are articles that have gone through a review process. An author submits their article to a journal to be published. The editor makes copies and sends the article, without identification, to two, sometimes, three, experts on that topic. The "peers" then decide if the article is worth printing or not. If it is a good article that contributes to the field they may accept it as is or may make suggestions for improving the article. They then return the article with comments to the editor. The editor makes the decision to send to print, send to trash, or send back to author for updates. This improves the quality of the article and journal. Rarely does an article get printed without edits.


In order to find these articles, use one of our Research Databases (like Omnifile or ProQuest). These can be found by going to the Library website at and clicking the Research Databases tab above the search box on the screen. You will then see a drop down menu; choose Broad Topics / General Databases from the drop down menu. Then choose either Omnifile or ProQuest. Once you are in one of these databases, look for a box to check that says either peer reviewed or scholarly. This will limit your results list to scholarly/peer reviewed articles.