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University Library, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign

Research Articles and Peer Reviewed Journals

A step-by-step guide to understanding and finding research articles and peer reviewed journals

Peer Reviewed Materials

Peer reviewed materials are publications reviewed by "experts in the field" or referees prior to the publication of the material. After reading and evaluating the material, the referee informs the publisher if the document should be published or if any changes should be made prior to publication. Peer reviewed materials are also referred to as Refereed. Peer reviewed materials are significant to the research and the literature of most academic fields because they assure readers that the information conveyed is reliable and timely.

Materials That Are Not Peer Reviewed

Non-refereed materials such as trade journals or magazines use less rigorous standards of screening prior to publication. In some publications, each article may be only screened by the publication's editor. While knowledgeable, no editor can be an authority on all the subject matter printed in a journal. Other non-refereed materials accept almost anything submitted in order to have something to print.

The term "scholarly materials" is often used to describe refereed materials, but this term is not exclusive to refereed material. Non-refereed materials may not by scrutinized as intensely as refereed materials, but they can still be considered scholarly.