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Citing and Writing Help

Information on writing, searching, evaluating sources, scholarly vs. popular articles, and citing your sources in APA, MLA, and Chicago/Turabian style.

Is It Peer-Reviewed?

Not sure if a journal is peer-reviewed? Check Ulrich's Periodicals Directory. You will need your SJSU ID number and a library PIN.

Peer-Reviewed Articles

It's easy to limit your search to peer-reviewed journals in most databases. For example, in Academic Search Complete, there's an option on the main search page under "Limit your results" to limit the search to scholarly (peer reviewed) journals:

Peer Review check-box

You can also limit your results after you've done a search by clicking the Scholarly (Peer Reviewed) Journals box in the left margin next to the results:

Peer Review check-box

Keep in mind that not everything appearing in a peer-reviewed journal is a peer-reviewed article; there are also book reviews, editorials, etc.

Scholarly Journals vs. Popular Magazines

 Criteria

Scholarly Journals

Popular Magazines

  Example
Scholarly Journals
Popular Magazines
  Author Usually a scholar or researcher with expertise in the subject area; Author's credentials and/or affiliation are given. Author's name may or may not be given; often a professional writer; may or may not have expertise in the subject area.
  Audience Other scholars, researchers, and students. General public; the interested non-specialist.
  Language Specialized terminology or jargon of the field; requires expertise in subject area  (or a good specialized dictionary!). Vocabulary in general usage; easily understandable to most readers.
  Graphics Graphs, charts, and tables; very few advertisements and photographs. Graphs, charts and tables; lots of glossy advertisements and photographs.

  Layout &
  Organization

Structured; generally includes the article abstract, objectives, methodology, analysis, results (evidence), discussion, conclusion, and bibliography. Informal; may include non-standard formatting. May not present supporting evidence or a conclusion.
  Accountability Articles are evaluated by peer-reviewers or referees who are experts in the field; edited for content, format, and style. Articles are evaluated by editorial staff, not experts in the field; edited for format and style.
  References Always has a list of references or bibliography; sources of quotes and facts are cited and can be verified. Rarely has a list of references; usually does not give complete information about sources of information.
  Examples Annals of Mathematics, Journal of Abnormal Psychology, History of Education Quarterly, almost anything with Journal in the title.

Time, Newsweek, The Nation, The Economist

Adapted from a LibGuide by Beth Rohloff at Tufts University's Tisch Library.

Finding Scholarly, Peer-Reviewed Articles