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VIC106 Psychology and Society

How to identify Scholarly and Peer-Reviewed Sources

This short video explain the terms scholarly/academic and peer-reviewed (or refereed)  and how to identify whether a book would be considered "scholarly.

Journal Articles:

If you found a journal article via a list of works cited, a reference on the internet at large or via Google Scholar, it may not be clear whether the article is from a peer-reviewed journal.
You can use the directory below (Ulrich's Web) to check whether the journal the article is published in is a peer-reviewed journal or not.

You can also enter the title of the article into LibrarySearch and if turns up there, if it's from a peer-reviewed journal, it should have a "peer-reviewed" label indicating this.

Please keep in mind:

  • Many scholarly journals do not display a "peer-reviewed" label and guarantee but are still reliable.
  • There is typically always an editorial process, but it may differ from the established "peer-review process". 
  • Be thorough; when it's unclear, navigate to the journal publisher's webpage (sometimes a this is a university or research institute within a university), look for information such as an "about this journal" page.
  • On articles, look for the academic credentials of the authors in the header, footer or at the end of the article (or hyperlinked). You can also web search the author(s)' names. 
  • Check also that article authors, in turn, have cited their (scholarly) sources for the article.

Books and Chapters from Books:

  • The majority of the non-fiction books in the E.J. Pratt and all of the University of Toronto Libraries tend to be "scholarly publications".
  • Books and chapters in anthologies would be subject to a form of "peer review" by an editorial committee which is typically made up of fellow academics in the same field or in broader or related subject areas/disciplines.

NOTE: The "peer review" limiter in LibrarySearch and other databases though only applies to articles because it's a tracked and tagged feature and that's not a standardized (metadata) label for books.