Q. What is peer-reviewed information?


A publication is known as peer-reviewed if a subject expert affiliated with an academic institution or professional organization has reviewed the articles for accuracy, validity and clarity of the information presented before approving them for publication. 

Peer-reviewed articles have at least two out of three basic characteristics:  

1) Peer-reviewed articles cite their sources.
2) Peer-reviewed articles are long.  (There is no set length for how long a peer-reviewed article has to be, but scholarly articles are usually more than five pages long.)
3) The article has clearly marked sections, like Introduction, Methods, etc.

A complaint often heard about the databases is:

  • I put in my search terms, checked the boxes for full-text and peer-reviewed articles, then selected my article from the list and my instructor said it is not peer-reviewed. 
  • This is because not all of those articles in the results are peer-reviewed. 
  • When you check the peer-reviewed limiter, you are asking the database to retrieve articles found in peer-reviewed journals. 
  • The catch is that peer-reviewed journals often (usually) contain news stories, opinion articles, book reviews, etc. 
  • In other words, not all the articles in a peer-reviewed journal are peer-reviewed.  

See the Finding Peer Reviewed Information page and feel free to ask any questions you may have finding peer-reviewed articles for your writing assignments.

Thank you for using Ask Us. For further assistance please contact your campus Academic Resource Center.


  • Last Updated Apr 02, 2018
  • Views 112
  • Answered By Patrick Mullane

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