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Civil & Environmental Engineering

A Guide to Civil & Environmental Engineering

Article Types: Peer-reviewed; Journal Types; Reading Technical Articles

Characteristics of Peer-reviewed Articles

  • Not all scholarly articles are peer-reviewed
  • Refereed is just another word for peer-reviewed
  • Peer-reviewed articles are reviewed and evaluated by experts in the field before they are accepted for publication
  • Articles that are peer-reviewed are published in a peer-reviewed journal

Tutorials - Journal Citations & How to Verify a Peer-Reviewed Article

How to identify a peer-reviewed article

In order to verify whether an article is peer-reviewed, you need to check whether the journal in which the article is published is peer-reviewed. There are two ways figure out whether a journal is peer-reviewed: 

1. Long Way — Search for the journal title on Google; go to the journal's website and search (Ctrl + F on Windows; Cmd + F on Mac) for the words peer review. Look on the website for information about the editorial policy, submission process or requirements for author’s submission. This section of the website will often give insight into whether or not the journal has a peer-review process. 

2. Preferred Way — Go to Ulrich's Periodicals Directory and search for the journal title.

Types of Journals

In Engineering trade journals/ magazines are as important as scholarly articles. However, trade journals are not peer-reviewed, only scholarly journals are. The information in a peer-reviewed article is thorough and reliable but it takes a long time to get published. Trade journals provide brief information on discoveries, inventions, and updates. 


Scholarly Journal

Journal of Biotechnology

Biosensors Journal

Trade Journal/ Magazine

Industry Week

IEEE Spectrum


Scientific American

New York Times





To inform and report on original research or experimentation

To provide news and updates to people in a particular industry or profession

To provide general information to a lay audience

To entertain or persuade

Some are
Cited Sources
Has substantial bibliographies
Occasionally include brief bibliographies
Rarely include bibliographies
Rarely include bibliographies
Scholars or researchers in the field, specialty
Practitioners and educators within the industry or profession
News reporters or free-lance writers
News reporters or free-lance writers

Article Appearance

Articles are lengthy and structured into sections: abstracts, lit. review, method, architecture, results, conclusions, bibliography

Contains graphs, charts, photographs supporting the research

Photographs and illustrations used to support the article but also for aesthetic purposes to draw in readers

Articles are usually brief and do not follow a certain format

Photographs and illustrations used to support the article but also for aesthetic purposes to draw in readers

Articles are usually brief and do not follow a certain format

Photographs and illustrations used to support the article but also for aesthetic purposes to draw in readers

Articles are usually brief and do not follow a certain format

Adapted from Meriam Library, California State University, Chico

Types of Scholarly Articles

You may encounter different types of scholarly articles in your research. Many databases have a "Document Type" search field and filter, which you can use to specify the kind of scholarly article you are interested in.


Research Article

Review Article


Conference Proceedings

Editorials/Book Reviews

What is it?

Authors report the results of their own systematic studies. This is a primary source.

A review is a secondary source of information. It is a critical evaluation of existing studies in a field.

These are the official records for professional meetings of organizations, such as conferences and workshops.

Book reviews provide insight and opinions on recently published scholarly books. An editorial may be a summary of an article appearing with the issue of the journal.
Provide original research on a topic.
They provide good overviews and they can lead you to empirical research on your topic.
Proceedings can be an important source of information, and in many cases are the most current resources available on particular research topics.
While these are generally not appropriate for research papers, they can help you identify sources that are appropriate.

Clues for Identification in the Title, Abstract, or Introduction

Empirical, Experimental, Research, Study
Literature review
Proceedings, Abstracts, Meeting abstract, Conference papers

How to Read a Technical Paper

Journals - Civil & Environmental Engineering

Use OneSearch with Journal Title - ASCE to find many journals published by American Society of Civil Engineers and available to SJSU:

Finding Journals and Journal Impact

Use Citation Linker if you know the following information about an article in a journal:

  • Journal name
  • Year of publication
  • Volume
  • Starting page