This 2-minute video shows you a few different ways to check whether an article is peer-reviewed or refereed.
|Scholarly, Peer-reviewed, Professional Journals||Popular Magazines|
|Examples||Harvard Business Review; American Journal of Sociology; Modern Language Notes||
Newsweek; Sports Illustrated; People; National Geographic; Wired
|What is “the look”?||Somber, serious with graphs and tables. Few, if any, pictures.||Attractive, slick with lots of pictures and advertisements.|
|Who is the audience?||Other professionals in the field or discipline. Language is scholarly and subject specific.||General audience. Language relative to the topic. Articles can be short and lacking depth.|
|What is the purpose?||To report original research or experimentation or persuade based on research.||
To entertain, to sell, or to promote a viewpoint.
|Who wrote the article?||A scholar or researcher often with an institutional or academic affiliation.||
Freelance writers, magazine staff or a well-known person not necessarily an expert in the field.
|How carefully is it documented?||Always has references, footnotes and/or a bibliography. Follows a style like APA or MLA.||Rarely cites sources or makes broad references to sources.|
If you find an article, check to see if it is in peer-reviewed journal in the PSU Library database, Ulrichs International Periodicals Directory. Search for the title of the journal.
When you click on the title of the journal, you will see quite a bit of information about that journal. What you're looking for is whether it is refereed or peer-reviewed ( ). If you are not sure if you clicked on the right journal title, check the description and make sure it relates to your research or the topic of your article.
News articles provide the most current information. Certain newspapers, such as the Wall Street Journal and the New York Times, are also known for thoughtful, in-depth analysis of important topics and events.
Popular magazine articles can help you generate ideas about issues, controversies, or unanswered questions about a topic. They often refer to studies or scholarly work that you can track down for more information.
Trade publications are written by and for professionals within an industry and are an excellent source of very specific information from inside the field.
Scholarly journal articles go through a process of peer review before they are published. They are written by experts in the field, and their purpose is to advance the ongoing body of work within the subjet or discipline. These articles present original research data and findings, or take a position on a key question within the field. They can be difficult to read because the language is specific to the subject for an intended audience of other experts and academics.