Identifying scholarly materials can be tricky, but peer-reviewed articles will have at least two out of three basic characteristics:
- Peer-reviewed articles cite their sources (so there is a bibliography at the end of the article).
- Peer-reviewed articles are long. (There is no set length for a peer-reviewed article, but scholarly articles are usually more than five pages long.)
- The article has clearly marked sections, like Introduction, Methods, etc.
Keep this in mind - when you check the peer-reviewed box in a database:
- The database retrieves articles found in peer-reviewed journals.
- The catch is that peer-reviewed journals often contain news stories, opinion articles, book reviews, etc.
- In other words, not all the articles in a peer-reviewed journal are peer-reviewed.
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