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This guide is for the library research workshop for students in Stephanie Ashton's CRIM 1101 course on Feb. 28, 2022.

What are peer-reviewed journal articles?

Which of these items is a scholarly journal article?
Article 1: 3 votes (4%)
Article 2: 53 votes (70.67%)
Article 3: 2 votes (2.67%)
all: 12 votes (16%)
none: 2 votes (2.67%)
don't know: 3 votes (4%)
Total Votes: 75

If you are not sure how to tell if a journal article is from a peer-reviewed journal, please see the library's guide to "Scholarly Journals: How Can You Tell?"

What is a peer-reviewed journal?

Peer-reviewed journals are often called scholarly or academic journals. They are different from popular magazines.

Articles in peer-reviewed journals:

  • are written by experts for other experts
  • usually report on research
  • include many in-text citations and a list of references or works cited by the author(s)
  • most importantly have been rigorously critiqued and reviewed by experts for quality before being published. This is called peer-review.

Videos on scholarly journals and peer-review

VIDEO: Scholarly Journal Articles (04:37)

Distinguishes the different types of materials that you will find in scholarly journals, and demonstrates how to spot the scholarly (peer-reviewed) articles.

  • Video (YouTube)
  • Video (Kaltura)
  • Video transcript (text file)
  • VIDEO: Understanding Peer Review (2:35)

    Describes the peer-review process and why such articles are important for university assignments. Accompanies Module 2 in the KPU Library's Doing Research Tutorial.

  • Video (YouTube)
  • Video (Kaltura)
  • Video transcript (text file)
  • DO NOT rely on the 'peer-reviewed' checkbox in a database to be completely accurate!

    Why not? It is only a rough filter that tells you whether a journal includes some peer-reviewed articles. Most peer-reviewed journals include a mixture of different kinds of articles, including short pieces such as book reviews and editorials. These short pieces do NOT go through the same peer-review process as the rest of the articles in the journal, but they will still be included in the peer-reviewed results by a database.

    Always look at the article for the typical features of a scholarly article such as an abstract and extensive in-text citations.

    Planning your Search

    1. Familiarise 2. Keywords 3. Alternatives 4. Techniques

    Image source: Search Tips and Planning by Deakin University

    Recommended research databases

    Summon Search Tool

    Search (almost) the entire KPU library collection at once with Summon -- Find books, journal articles, videos, and more!

    Other research databases to try:

    See the Journal Articles tab on this guide for more research database suggestions.

    APA citation

    Why cite?

    Citing your sources properly shows that you have done your research and consulted appropriate sources for your topic. It also acknowledges that all research builds on work that has come before. You are giving credit to sources that have influenced or informed your work. If you do not do this, you are essentially stealing another person's ideas, which is called plagiarism.

    How to cite?

    Whenever you use another person's ideas (even if you put this into your own words), you must give them credit. You do this by CITING the source you used in two places:

    1. First, you give a brief in-text citation right in (or after) the sentence where you mention the idea or words.

    2. Then, you provide a detailed reference at the end of your document so that whoever reads it will be able to locate the exact source you used. 
      • note: the exact formatting of a reference will depend on the type of information source you are citing, but every reference should tell the reader:
        • WHO created the work,
        • WHEN it was created,
        • WHAT the work is called, and
        • WHERE it can be found. 

    Citing a scholarly journal article

    Video tutorial on APA references for journal articles

    Video credit: Western Sydney University Library. (2020). APA style, 7th edition: Referencing an online journal article [Videorecording].

    Examples of APA references for journal articles

    3 APA citations for journals articles: 1) standard, 2) no DOI but freely-available online, 3) no DOI and not freely-available online

    In-text Citations

    Citation Generators

    Most library research databases have built-in citation generators. These are handy tools to create a rough citation, but you ALWAYS need to double-check them. Here is an example from Summon: