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Institute for the Study of University Pedagogy

Resources to support research in courses within the Institute for the Study of University Pedagogy.

Peer Review

What is peer review?

When research is submitted for publication, if often goes through a process called peer review to ensure it meets quality standards. Other experts in the field will check the research for any problems related to its premise, methodology, data/evidence, argumentation/logic, and conclusions. Research will only appear in peer-reviewed publications once this process has been completed and any the authors have made any necessary revisions.

By using peer-reviewed (or refereed) research in your assignment, you can trust that the sources you use to strengthen your argument are reliable and trustworthy, making your own research stronger.

How can I check whether a source has been peer reviewed?


The easiest way to check the peer review status of your sources is when you are first searching for them in LibrarySearch. Keep an eye out for the Peer Review tag—this means the source has gone through the process.

Screenshot showing the peer review tag for the article "He Said, She Said: Gender and Academic/Professional Writing"



If you are searching in a database, you may also be able to narrow results by peer review status. Note: not all databases allow you to filter by peer review status.

Here, you can see the peer review filter in the Proquest advanced search interface:

Screenshot showing the advanced search peer review filter in the Proquest database interface.

You can also filter by peer review status on the search results page:

Screenshot showing the peer review filter in the Proquest database interface search results.



If you are searching a database that does not allow you to filter by peer review status or are unsure whether a source you have found is peer reviewed, you should consult UlrichsWeb, a directory of serial publications like scholarly journals. Make sure you search for the journal your articles appears in, not the name of the article.

When you have found the journal, look for the peer review mark, which looks like a referee jersey:

Screenshot of the UlrichsWeb entry for the Canadian Journal for Studies in Discourse and Writing, showing peer review status.

For more instructions on using UlrichsWeb, consult these guides.