Answered By: Research Center Desk
Last Updated: Jul 29, 2022     Views: 1489

Articles that are published in scholarly journals have been reviewed by a jury of experts in the subject of the article. The peer-review process makes sure that publications are accurate and thoroughly researched. Researchers using peer-reviewed articles can be confident that those sources are reliable and authoritative. Most databases allow search results to be limited to only include peer-reviewed articles. In Compass, for example, the option to do this is found on the right hand side of the page under the heading "Availability." 

Compass search with an arrow indicating the filter for "Peer-reviewed Journals."

Your professor may also say she wants you to use “scholarly” sources for a research paper. Scholarly and peer-reviewed are often used interchangeably, but they don’t always mean the same thing. A scholarly source is a source that is authoritative on the topic. A peer-reviewed article is certainly a scholarly source. Most books are evaluated and edited before they are published. This means they can be considered authoritative and “scholarly.” Other scholarly sources include trade journals or magazines and government sources.

The American Public University System has several excellent LibGuides that further explain scholarly and peer-reviewed sources;

What does “peer-reviewed” mean?

What does “scholarly” mean?

Are books considered scholarly publications?