EXAMPLES OF HOW TO LIMIT TO PEER-REVIEWED OR REFEREED JOURNALS IN ONLINE DATABASES

Many online databases allow you to limit the results of a search to journals only (eliminating magazines) by limiting to scholarly, peer-reviewed, or refereed publications.

The synonyms peer-reviewed, scholarly, and refereed are associated with the editorial process of many journals. Because magazines do not use this process, these interchangeable terms can be used to eliminate magazines and retain only scholarly journals from a search results list.

Note: Depending on the database you are searching, you may have to use either one or the other of these synonymous terms. For example,

  • databases provided by the vendor EBSCOhost use the designation "Scholarly (Peer Reviewed)"
  • databases from the vendor InfoTrac use the designation "refereed"
as illustrated in the examples below:

Example 1: Limiting to Journals: Using "Peer-Reviewed"

To limit a search to peer-reviewed journals in EBSCOhost's Academic Search Premier database,

  • Click on the "Refine Search" tab, then
  • In the "Limit your results" section, click in the "Scholarly (Peer Reviewed) Journals" box--highlighted in blue below--to place a check mark, as pictured in the following screen:
  • Screen shot demonstrating how to limit a search to journals in the Academic Search Premier database

  • Doing so will retain only journals and eliminate any magazines retrieved during a search.
  • Very Important: Limiting to results from peer-reviewed journals does not eliminate retrieval of items like book reviews and editorials contained within those journals. Book reviews and editorials are not peer-reviewed articles even though they appear in peer-reviewed journals, and they are not accepted as such by instructors.

(Note: EBSCOhost databases do not use the term "refereed," only "scholarly" and "peer-reviewed.")


Example 2: Limiting to Journals: Using "Refereed"

To limit a search to refereed journals in the InfoTrac Expanded Academic ASAP database,

  • Click in the box beside "to refereed publications"--highlighted in blue below--under "Limit the current search (optional)" section to place a check mark, as pictured in the following screen:
  • Screen shot demonstrating how to limit a search to journals in the Expanded Academic ASAP database

  • Doing so will retain only journals and eliminate any magazines retrieved during a search.
  • Very Important: Limiting to results from refereed journals does not eliminate retrieval of items like book reviews and editorials contained within those journals. Book reviews and editorials are not refereed articles even though they appear in refereed journals, and they are not accepted as such by instructors.

(Note: InfoTrac databases do not use the terms "peer-reviewed" or "scholarly," only "refereed.")


For more information on other differences between journal and magazine articles, see our
Scholarly Journal Articles v. Magazine Articles page.
Last updated March 15, 2004