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Psychology Resources: Peer-Reviewed Journal Articles

Locate a variety of basic psychology resources. The tabs above provide links to databases that search thousands of journals, newspapers, and books, as well as videos and quality Web sites.

What Is a Peer-Reviewed 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

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.


Examples of a magazine article and a peer-reviewed article (about the ridiculously broad topic "child development"):

Notice the difference? The Giving Back article features pictures and newsy content, while Associations has a longer title, charts and lots of dense text.

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. And just skim the Methods section. It is assumed that the audience is familiar with these methods, and it is often filled with highly technical jargon and statistical terminology.

  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. Skim the Methods section. This section assumes you know what the authors are talking about, and you probably don't. This is graduate-level information.
  3. Skip the Results section. The language will be too technical and confusing.
  4. Read the Discussion section. The Discussion section will explain the main findings in great detail and discuss any methodological problems or flaws that the researchers discovered.
  5. Read the Conclusion/Discussion section. It's written in "mostly" plain English. It's 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

See also the Evaluating Sources Guide, especially the How to Read and Evaluate Articles page.

Peer Review

Databases with Peer-Reviewed Journals on Psychology

Databases with peer-reviewed psychology journal content

In most of these databases, you must check Scholarly (Peer Reviewed) Journals, usually before you click Search, or modify the search after you have received your results.  Check with the Reference Librarian to determine if a journal article is peer reviewed.

How to Find a Peer-Reviewed Psychology Article Using TMCC Resources

The following collections include only psychology-related journals. Gale OneFile Psychology has a few psychology magazines as well, but defaults to peer-reviewed results.

Search the library catalog ( a "discovery service") to search these collections and many more resources in a single search, including open-access resources and eBooks.