ANTH 325 Culture, Health and Healing: Evaluate Articles

Selecting Peer Reviewed Articles for Your Research Video

This video shows you different ways to check whether an article is peer-reviewed. 

Is It Relevant?

Subject-- Does the article relate to the topic you are researching? Look at the title, abstract (summary at the beginning of some articles) and headers to get a sense of what the article is about.

Date-- Do you need current information or information from a specific point in history? The date of the article could be important if so.

Research Study-- Is it a research study or a discussion of a research study? A research study article will have a "Methodology" section and usually has charts, graphs and a lot of data. A discussion of a research study might occur in a newspaper or magazine and give the summary of a research study but not all the data and details. Depending on your research or assignment, you might prefer one or the other.

Methodology-- What kind of research study is it? Different types of research use different methodologies, and your assignment might require a specific type, e.g.: quantitative, qualitative, a case study, or a systematic review. The methodology section is a good place to find information about the type of study.

Scholarly vs. Popular Articles

Depending on your assignment, you may need popular or scholarly articles. What's the difference and how do you know when you've found one or the other?


  • Usually the product of research or a research study
  • Author is the person who performed the research
  • Author is an expert in the field, e.g. PhD, professor
  • Data and findings in great detail
  • Charts, graphs, and timelines
  • Journal title is fairly formal, e.g. Journal of Abnormal Psychology, Anthropology and Medicine
  • Bibliography


  • Author is usually not the person who performed the research study
  • Author may or may not be an expert in her field
  • Journal title is less formal, e.g. Newsweek, People, the Washington Post
  • No bibliography

Example: Let's say there's some controversy over whether students perform better taking the S.A.T. online or in paper form. A journalist for a popular magazine, such as a newspaper, might interview principals, students and proctors to get their opinions. For a scholarly article, the researcher might administer the test at 50 different schools. At each school 30 students would take the test in paper form and 30 would take it online. The researcher would then compare the results and describe her findings. 


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