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PSY 3402: Experimental and Research Methods - McKelvain: 5: Scholarly?

Specifically for Dr. McKelvain's PSY 3402 classes.

Check - Is It Scholarly/Peer-Reviewed?

Step 5: Use Scholarly (Academic), Peer-Reviewed Sources.

Next you need to be sure your sources are OK for college level research.

  • College level research requires that you use "Scholarly" or "Academic" sources.  These are books, journal articles, and conference proceedings that are written by scholars for scholars.  Which means they were written for you!
  • Peer-reviewed scholarly (or academic) journals have articles that are reviewed by other scholars before they are published, so you know the information is good.
  • Learn more in the box below left, find out how to check your journal for peer-review in the lower center box, and learn to use PsychINFO tools to return only peer-reviewed results in the lower right box.


Different Types of Periodicals

Periodicals - any type of source that is printed regularly with new articles each time.

Popular periodicals are the kind you would buy to read for fun. They may have some value for research, depending on the topic, but do not include references so you can check the facts.

Scholarly/Academic periodicals are written for and by people who work in academics: professors, researchers, undergraduate or graduate students. This type of article is best suited for your research because it is reliable and authoritative. Many of these are peer-reviewed.

Trade publications are written by specialists in an industry for people in that industry. While sources are mentioned, they are rarely formally cited. These are not considered scholarly sources.

Look on this page for more information about how to decide what type of periodical it is!

Peer Review Process


Types of Resources

Peer Reviewed?


If you have a journal and you need to check if it is peer reviewed, use the Ulrich's Periodical Directory database.

  • Enter the name of the journal in the search bar, then look for the little referee's jersey icon or the line that says "Refereed: Yes." "Refereed" is just another way of saying "peer reviewed," so if you see either or both of those things, your journal is peer reviewed.
  • If you don't see the icon or if the description of the journal says "Refereed: No," that journal is not peer reviewed.

PsycINFO: Limit To Peer-Reviewed

Limit to peer-reviewed articles in PsycINFO:

  • On your results list page, there's a column on the left titled "Refine Results".
  • Click on the box next to "Peer-Reviewed.
  • You're done!