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Introduction to Women's Studies: Peer-Reviewed Journal Articles

Interdisciplinary analysis of women in culture and society from historical and cross-cultural perspectives.

What Is a Peer-Reviewed Journal Article?

Peer Review is a process that journals use to ensure the articles they publish represent the best scholarship currently available. When an article is submitted to a peer reviewed journal, the editors send it out to other scholars in the same field (the author's peers) to get their opinion on the quality of the scholarship, its relevance to the field, its appropriateness for the journal, etc.

Publications that don't use peer review (Time, Cosmo, Salon) just rely on the judgement of the editors whether an article is up to snuff or not. That's why you can't count on them for solid, scientific scholarship. --University of Texas at Austin

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A primary difference between scholarly journals and other types of journals and magazines is that articles in these journals undergo a "peer review" process before they are published. What does this mean?

Peer review is the process by which an author's peers, recognized researchers in the field, read and evaluate a paper (article) submitted for publication and recommend whether the paper should be published, revised, or rejected.

Peer review is a widely accepted indicator of quality scholarship in a discipline or field. Articles accepted for publication through a peer review process meet the discipline's expected standards of expertise.

Peer-reviewed (or refereed) journals are scholarly journals that only publish articles that have passed through this review process. --San Diego State University Library

Databases with Peer-Reviewed Articles on Women's Studies

These databases provide access to peer-reviewed journal articles on Women's Studies.  The databases listed in this Research Guide are available only to Truckee Meadows Community College students, faculty and staff. You will need your TMCC credentials (Username and Password) to access them off-campus.

Some sample titles of journals/publications available in the TMCC Library Ebsco Database are:

Frontiers: A Journal of Women's Studies

Gender Issues

Health Care for Women Intl.

Journal of Women and Religion

Lesbian News

Sexuality & Culture

Women and Politics

Women in Business

Women in Prison

Women in the Hispanic World

Women and Environments Intl.

Women of the U.S. Congress

Women who Lead Nations

Women who Reformed Politics

How to Read a Peer-Reviewed Journal Article

Tips for Reading a Research Article

Read the Abstract. It consists of a brief summary of the research questions and methods. It may also state the findings. Because it is short and often written in dense psychological language, you may need to read it a couple of times. Try to restate the abstract in your own nontechnical language.

  1. Read the Introduction. This is the beginning of the article, appearing first after the Abstract. This contains information about the authors' interest in the research, why they chose the topic, their hypothesis, and methods. This part also sets out the operational definitions of variables.
  2. Read the Discussion section. Skip over the Methods section for the time being. The Discussion section will explain the main findings in great detail and discuss any methodological problems or flaws that the researchers discovered.
  3. Read the Methods section. Now that you know the results and what the researchers claim the results mean, you are prepared to read about the Methods. This section explains the type of research and the techniques and assessment instruments used. If the research utilized self-reports and questionnaires, the questions and statements used may be set out either in this section or in an appendix that appears at the end of the report.
  4. Read the Results section. This is the most technically challenging part of a research report. But you already know the findings (from reading about them in the Discussion section). This section explains the statistical analyses that led the authors to their conclusions.
  5. Read the Conclusion. The last section of the report (before any appendices) summarizes the findings, but, more important for social research, it sets out what the researchers think is the value of their research for real-life application and for public policy. This section often contains suggestions for future research, including issues that the researchers became aware of in the course of the study.
  6. Following the conclusions are appendices, usually tables of findings, presentations of questions and statements used in self-reports and questionnaires, and examples of forms used (such as forms for behavioral assessments).

Modified from Net Lab

Sample Search in Ebscohost Academic Search Premier Database

The search term was "women AND violence," limited to full-text and peer-reviewed (scholarly) journals.  Over 7,000 articles were retrieved.  Here is the one of the retrieved articles titled "A Woman's Place: Reflections on the Origins of Violence."

https://ezproxy.tmcc.edu/login?url=http://search.ebscohost.com/login.aspx?direct=true&db=aph&AN=3675098&site=ehost-live&scope=site

The database provides an APA-format citation, although the citation should be altered to conform to APA rules (see the page on citing documents in this LibGuide):

References
Van Creveld, M. (2000). A Woman's Place: Reflections on the Origins of Violence. Social Research, 67(3), 825-847.