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PSYA01 and PSYA02: Research & Writing Help

A guide describing how to find and use research and writing resources for your assignments.

What is a Journal VS an Article?

A JOURNAL is a collection of different documents (e.g., articles, letters to the editors, reviews, etc.) on a particular subject area 

An ARTICLE is one type of the documents found in journals. 

Limit to Peer Review while searching

Many databases allow you to limit to Peer Review while you are conducting your search. Just remember that Peer Review is based on the JOURNAL TITLE not on the ARTICLE but some content in a Peer Reviewed Journal will not be peer review, such as letters to the editor and editorials.

Using Ulrich's Directory - Is your Article from a Peer Reviewed Journal?

How do you know if the articles in a journal are peer reviewed? Some databases allow you to limit to peer reviewed articles. For other databases, you need to look up the title of the journal in Ulrich's Periodical Directory.

Ulrich's Periodical Directory is a tool that allows you to check if the journal in which an article is published is peer reviewed

 1. Find the Journal Title for your article. 

      In the citation below - Prevention Science is the Journal Title. 

Citation with Journal title highlighted


2. Open the directory :  Ulrich's.

3. Type the JOURNAL TITLE (not the article title) into the search box, and click the green search button.

 screenshot of Ulrich's search tool bar

4. In the search results, look for a referee jersey icon to indicate that a journal is refereed. Referred is a synonym for peer reviewed

screenshot of results page in Ulrich's with referee icon highlighted


5. Or you can click on a journal to see the full record. If it says Refereed Yes, then you know the journal (and the articles published in it) are refereed / peer reviewed.

Screenshot of Ulrich Directory's basic description of item record highlighting Refereed entry


How to recognise scholarly articles

Recognising the difference between scholarly and popular publications is an important skill.

This short video from Vanderbilt University illustrates how to recognize scholarly articles.