What is a Peer Reviewed Journal?
Also, see this guide for North Carolina State University to differences between scholarly and other types of periodicals:
Here is a good definition from the Lloyd Sealy Library at the John Jay College of Criminal Justice
In academic publishing, the goal of peer review is to assess the quality of articles submitted for publication in a scholarly journal. Before an article is deemed appropriate to be published in a peer-reviewed journal, it must undergo the following process:
· Because a peer-reviewed journal will not publish articles that fail to meet the standards established for a given discipline, peer-reviewed articles that are accepted for publication exemplify the best research practices in a field.
When you are determining whether or not the article your found is a peer-reviewed article, you should consider the following questions:
Is the journal in which you found the article published or sponsored by a professional scholarly society, professional association, or university academic department? Does it describe itself as a peer-reviewed publication? (To know that, check the journal's website).
Did you find a citation for it in one of the databases that includes scholarly publications? (Criminal Justice Abstracts, EBSCOhost Academic Search Complete, PsycINFO, etc.)? Read the database description to see if it includes scholarly publications.
Did you limit your search to scholarly or peer-reviewed publications?
Is there an abstract (summary) at the beginning of the article?
Is the tone of the article thoughtful, restrained and serious?
Does the article have footnotes or citations of other sources?
Does the article have a bibliography or list of references at the end?
Are the author's credentials listed?
Is the topic of the article narrowly focused and explored in depth?
Is the article based on either original research or authorities in the field (as opposed to personal opinion)?
Is the article written for readers with some prior knowledge of the subject?
If your field is social or natural science, is the article divided into sections with headings such as those listed below?
Within the Ebsco databases, if you are in one database only, you can limit to Scholarly (Peer Reviewed) Journal at the start. If you are searching more than one databse, limit to Scholarly (Peer Reviewed) within the results by using the limits on the lefrt side.
Ebscohost databases - Limit search to Scholarly (Peer Reviewed) Journals