Q: What is a peer-reviewed article, and what is the easiest way to I find them?


What is a Peer-Reviewed Article?

Peer review describes the process that an article goes through before it can be published in a scholarly/academic journal. Peer reviewed articles are often called Academic, Scholarly, or Refereed

  1. An academic or expert writes an article indented audience is other academics, experts, or students.
  2. Article is then submitted for review to the editors of an academic journal
    1. Example: Editors of Social Science Quarterly
  3. Editors review the article
    1. Options: Acceptance, Return with Suggestions, Reject
    2. Example: Social Science Quarterly accepts about 15% of submissions.

Popular articles are another type of article. Unlike scholarly articles, popular articles typically are not written or reviewed by experts. They are written by professional writers or journalists, for a general audience. They are usually published in magazines or newspapers.

For more information on what it means to be "peer-reviewed," check out our Research 101 Guide. This guide can also be found on the library homepage under the Research Guides tab.

Finding Peer-Reviewed Articles

  1. You can find articles (in magazines, newspapers, scholarly or peer-reviewed journals) from the SuperSearch Tab on the library website. Here you can enter keywords that will search both our KSU library catalog (books, e-books, government documents, films, etc.) and many of the subscription databases all in one search engine.
  2. Once you conduct your search you can limit the results to scholarly or peer-reviewed publications only. On your results list, there is a button you can check on the left side of the screen that reads "Scholarly (Peer-Reviewed) Journals." Clicking this option will limit the results to only peer-reviewed/scholarly journal articles.

What is a Scholarly Source?

Scholarly/Academic sources are items that are written for academics. They are aimed at the following:

  • an audience of academics
  • experts
  • college students

They are not intended for a general audience — like magazines or newspapers. Scholarly articles are not necessarily peer reviewed, but peer-reviewed articles are always scholarly.

What is a Refereed Article?

There are many terms used to describe scholarly articles — refereed is one of these terms.

A more widely used term is Peer Reviewed. Both terms describe the process the article must go through before it is published in an academic or scholarly journal.


For more information

For more help, email the Research and Instructional Services department, or call or visit:

Kennesaw: Sturgis Library Checkout Desk (Ground floor) 470-578-6202

Marietta: Johnson Library Checkout Desk (1st floor) 470-578-7276


Last updated

Last Updated

Nov 29, 2022


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