What is a Refereed Journal?

A refereed journal is a particular type of scholarly journal in which each article is judged or refereed by experts in the field. Scholarly journals generally contain articles written by professors or researchers publishing the results of their work. Few refereed journals are available freely on the Internet. You can use library databases to find articles in these journals.

How can I tell the difference between scholarly journals and popular magazines?

Scholarly Journals Magazines
Scholarly audience; professor, student, professional General Audience
Written by scholars, researchers, or practitioners Written by generalists/journalists
Includes bibliographies Usually does not include bibliographies
Uses professional language and jargon of the subject discipline Uses language understood by the average reader with little knowledge of a subject field
Often has a specific sturcture (for example: Introduction, Literature Review, Methodology, Results, Conclusions) Written like a story or journalistic essay
Articles approved by author's peers or editorial boards Articles chosen by editors who are employed by the magazine
Often sponsered by a professional organization or society ( examples: American Psychological Association or Modern Language Association) Published by a company (Example: Time/Warner)
Contains graphs and charts Contains many graphics of all types and colored pictures
Usually long articles, often 7+ pages Usually shorter articles, often from less than a page to 5 pages



How do I find Refereed Journals in library databases?

Use the "Find Articles" link on the Sherrod webpages, select the subject area your search is in, or use the alphabetical listing to find the database title. If you do not know what databases to search, consult a librarian or ask your professor.

InfoTrac OneFile
On the opening search screen, look for a check box to “limit the current search to: Refereed Publications.” Click in this box and then type your search in the search boxes and proceed.

Wilson OmniFile
At the lower right of the search screen, look for a “limit to: Peer Reviewed” checkbox. Click in this box and then type your search in your search box and proceed.

Conduct your search as you normally would. Then click on the tab that says "Scholarly Journals"

ASSIA, ATLA Religion Database, Communication Abstracts, Criminal Justice Abstracts, ERIC, Linguistics and Language Behavior Abstracts, Physical Education Index, PsycARTICLES, PsycINFO, Social Services Abstracts, or Sociological Abstracts
Conduct your search as you normally would. Then click on the tab that says “Peer Reviewed Journals

Project Muse, JSTOR, and Science Direct are full-text databases that only contain refereed journals.

Ask a librarian for more information on specific databases you might be interested in searching.


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