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“Refereed” (also called “peer-reviewed) means that the articles in the journal are evaluated by a group of experts in the field. These experts must approve the articles before they are allowed to be published. These publications have a much higher level of scholarship and are far more trustworthy than non-refereed journals or magazines.

To help you make sure your articles are from peer-reviewed/refereed/scholarly journals AS you’re searching for them, many databases have limit options. For example:

refine your results

To confirm that your journal article is from a refereed/peer-reviewed publication AFTER you already have it, check Ulrich’s for the referee’s jersey symbol next to the journal title:

peer reviewed

In some journals, particularly those in the sciences, you can look for “submitted/revised/accepted” dates on the first page of the article. These tell you the dates the article went through the various steps of the peer-review process.

Finally, the most authoritative place to look is the journal’s website. Just Google the name of the journal. Look for a description of the journal that says “peer-reviewed” there. Also, look at the information for authors or review policy pages. These will often detail the peer-review process for each journal, including which sections of the journal are reviewed and which are merely edited.

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