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What is a Peer-Reviewed (Academic) Journal?
What Is a Peer-Reviewed Journal?
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
Databases Containing Peer-Reviewed Journal Articles
Each database containing peer-reviewed journals has different content coverage and materials. 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.
When searching a database, a search term frequently will retrieve many articles. Browse the article abstracts to find one or more relevant to your search.
Some of the databases provide citations for the articles.
See a librarian for assistance.
Academic Search Premier
- Why search this database?
This is a multi-disciplinary database that covers the breadth of human knowledge.
- What’s included?
Subjects in this database include everything from computer sciences, engineering, history, physics, chemistry, language and linguistics, arts & literature, medical sciences, ethnic studies, and many more.
- Looking for Articles?
This database has full-text coverage of more than 4,000 journals and magazines.
Business Source Elite
"Provides full text for over 1,000 business publications. More than 10,100 substantial company profiles from Datamonitor are also included."
CINAHL Plus with Full Text
Contains "full text for nursing & allied health journals, providing full text for more than 770 journals indexed in CINAHL®. "
Dentistry & Oral Sciences Source
Coverage includes " dental public health, endodontics, facial pain & surgery, odontology, oral & maxillofacial pathology/surgery/radiology, orthodontology, pediatric dentistry, periodontology, and prosthodontics."
Huge database of education articles, lesson plans and other materials for K-12 teachers and administrators. ERIC is also available in EBSCO, with enhanced EBSCO functionality, such as the citation generator.
Health Source Nursing/Academic Edition
"Provides nearly 550 scholarly full text journals focusing on many medical disciplines."
Search hundreds of nursing journals and other resources from a single interface.
PLoS is a non-profit organization of scientists committed to making the world's scientific and medical literature freely accessible to scientists and to the public around the world.
Professional Development Collection
" A highly specialized collection of nearly 520 high quality education journals, including more than 350 peer-reviewed titles."
" Contains more than 153,000 articles from nearly 80 journals published by the American Psychological Association (APA)."
Psychology and Behavioral Sciences Collection
Offers full text coverage for nearly 400 journals.
Religion and Philosophy Collection
Features over 300 full text journals covering "world religions, major denominations, biblical studies, religious history, epistemology, political philosophy, philosophy of language, moral philosophy and the history of philosophy."
U.S. History in Context
Provides a complete overview of U.S. history, with topic summaries, journal and magazine articles and primary sources.
World History in Context
Provides coverage of events in world history, from absolutism to the two world wars. Materials include topic summaries, journal and magazine articles and primary sources.
JSTOR: A Special Source of Academic Journals
JSTOR is unique because it is an enormous source of back issues of academic journals, some peer reviewed. It consists of hundreds of these journals for most of their existence, including every article in PDF format. See the Reference Librarian for assistance in using JSTOR.
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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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