LIMITING INDEX SEARCHES TO ONLY ACADEMIC JOURNALS, MAGAZINES, OR NEWSPAPERS

Many online indexes or databases allow you to limit the results of a search to only articles from a particular type of publication:


  Limiting Results to Academic Journal Articles Only

  • In EBSCOhost Databases:

    After doing a search in an EBSCOhost database such as Academic Search Premier, limit your results to those articles coming from only academic journals (also known as peer-reviewed, refereed, or scholarly journals) by clicking on the "Academic Journals" link (highlighted in blue) to the left of the results in the "Narrow Results by/Source Types" box on the Results page, as illustrated in the following screen shot:

    The results list should then be reduced to those articles that come from academic journals only.

  • In H.W. Wilson Databases:

    After doing a search in an H.W. Wilson database such as OmniFile Full Text Mega, on the results page, limit your results to those articles coming from only academic journals (also known as peer-reviewed, refereed, or scholarly journals) by clicking in the "Peer Reviewed" tab highlighted in dark blue in the following screen shot:

    Screen shot of 'Peer Reviewed' tab in H.W. Wilson databases results lists.

    The results list should then be reduced to those articles that come from academic journals only (indicated by the "Peer Review" tab's yellow appearance), as shown below (in H.W. Wilson databases, these are also denoted by the mortarboard cap icon ):

    Screen shot of results limited to peer-reviewed journals.

 'Warning' icon Warning: Limiting to results from academic (peer-reviewed scholarly, or refereed) journals does not eliminate retrieval of items like book reviews, news stories, and editorials contained within those journals. Book reviews, news stories, and editorials are not considered peer-reviewed, scholarly, or journal articles even though they appear in peer-reviewed or refereed journals, and they are not accepted as such by instructors. For more information about how to differentiate between true journal articles and magazine and newspaper articles, see our help page.

Another Way to Limit to Articles from Journals

The synonyms peer-reviewed, scholarly, and refereed are associated with the editorial process of many journals. Because neither magazines nor newspapers use this process, these interchangeable terms can be used to eliminate magazine and newspaper articles 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)"
  • other databases may use the designation "refereed"
as illustrated in the example below:

  Example 1: Limiting to Journals in EBSCOhost: Using "Scholarly (Peer Reviewed) Journals" Limit

To limit a search to peer-reviewed or scholarly journals in EBSCOhost's databases (such as Academic Search Premier below),

  • Perform a search, then
  • In the "Limit your results" box to the right of your results list, click on the "Search Options" link, highlighted in dark blue in the following screen shot:
  • Screen shot demonstrating 'Search Options' link

  • A new pop-up window will appear with various limit options. Click in the box labeled "Scholarly (Peer Reviewed) Journals" and click "Search." This will re-do your search to include only those articles published in academic journals.
  • Screen shot of limit for 'Scholarly (Peer Reviewed) Journals'

  • Doing so will retain only journals and eliminate any magazines retrieved during a search. (See our Warning about the limitations of this kind of search.)

images/bluewhitevert.bmp" alt="">  Example 2: Limiting to Journals in H.W. Wilson: Using "Peer Reviewed" Limit

When doing a search in an H.W. Wilson database such as OmniFile Full Text Mega, limit your results to those articles coming from only academic journals (also known as peer-reviewed, refereed, or scholarly journals) by doing the following: click in the "Peer Reviewed" box in the Limit to: portion of the search page, as illustrated in the following screen shot:

  Limiting Results to Magazine Articles Only

  • In EBSCOhost Databases:

    After doing a search in the Academic Search Premier index, limit your results to those articles coming from only magazines by clicking on the "Magazines" link (highlighted in blue) to the left of the results in the "Narrow Results by/Source Types" box on the Results page, as illustrated in the following screen shot:

    Screen shot of 'Magazine' link to limit results to those from magazines

    The results list should then be reduced to those articles that come from magazines only.

  • In H.W. Wilson Databases:

    After doing a search in H.W. Wilson databases such as OmniFile Full Text Mega, limit your results to those coming only from magazines by clicking on the "Non-Peer Reviewed" tab, as highlighted in yellow in the following screen shot (this database does not contain newspaper articles, only journal and magazine articles, so the Non-Peer Reviewed tab displays only magazine articles):

    Screen shot of 'Non-Peer Reviewed' tab for limiting results to magazine articles in H.W. Wilson databases.

  Limiting Results to Newspaper Articles Only (in EBSCOhost databases only)

After doing a search in the Academic Search Premier index, limit your results to those articles coming from only newspapers by clicking on the "Newspapers" link (highlighted in blue) to the left of the results in the "Narrow Results by/Source Types" box on the Results page, as illustrated in the following screen shot:

Screen shot of 'Newspapers' link to limit results to those from newspapers

The results list should then be reduced to those articles that come from newspapers only.

Note that because H.W. Wilson databases don't include newspapers, there is no reason to limit to newspaper articles in these databases.


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

Last updated November 4, 2010