Jessica Hagman, Social Sciences Research Librarian
Social Sciences, Health, and Education Library, 101 Main Library
Peer-reviewed materials are publications reviewed by “expert readers” 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 or scholarly. 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.
Many article databases now allow you to limit your search to display only peer-reviewed (refereed) results. Use this option to eliminate guesswork and rest assured that your results are all from peer-reviewed sources.
Note: beware the “scholarly” label…as we’ve seen, a source can be “scholarly” but not necessarily peer-reviewed. Look for “peer-reviewed” or “refereed” to be sure.