A peer-reviewed journal (also called a refereed journal) is a type of periodical used by scholars and researchers to report on their work to others in their field. Submitted articles are carefully reviewed by other experts in the author's field, who are recruited but not employed by the journal. Based on the reviews, the journal's editor might request revisions to the article and further reviews, before deciding whether to publish the article. The process can take a long time, but the final published articles are generally considered to be highly credible.
Journal articles are usually quite long and detailed, are written at an expert level, and have a list of references (i.e., works cited) at the end.
Some of our research databases can help you find peer-reviewed articles by limiting your search results to articles from peer-reviewed journals. Be aware that these journals may contain content like editorials, book reviews, and letters to the editor that are not peer-reviewed.
The list of references at the end of a scholarly article shows the sources that the authors referred to in writing their article. You can use that list to further explore the topic you are researching. To obtain an article you'd like to read, you can use Primo's Fetch Item tool to see if it is available in one of our databases. If the article has a Digital Object Identifier in its citation (labeled with "doi:" or as part of a URL starting with "https//doi.org/10..."), see our guide on Digital Object Identifiers for how you can use the DOI to obtain the article.
With journals, it's often the case that the actual complete article (sometimes called the "full text") is not directly available from the database you are searching. This is because many journal publishers make less money licensing their articles to database vendors than they do by selling subscriptions and article reprints.
In these cases, a database might only show you the article's citation (the information that identifies the article and the journal it was published in) and an abstract (a short summary of what the article is about).
Here is how articles with and without full text are retrieved in searches of our databases:
You have several options for obtaining articles from journals that are not full-text in our databases:
Search Scope Options:
Newspaper Articles: In Primo, newspaper articles are searched separately from other articles. In the Primo search screen, choose Newspapers at the top of the search screen, or choose Newspaper Search from the bottom of a results list.
The Primo system does not cover Issues & Controversies or OverDrive Magazines.
EBSCOhost provides us with dozens of general and specialized research databases, many with peer-reviewed content. We often recommend Academic Search Complete, which covers a broad range of subjects. You can see our full list of EBSCO databases for those that focus on topics including science, technology, health and medicine, humanities, and business.
ScienceDirect provides journal articles and book chapters from Elsevier publications.
ABI/INFORM Collection has articles and reports on business and economics.
Google Scholar, when searched through the library's link, can retrieve premium articles from the library's other research databases that aren't available in regular Google Scholar.