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cycle of researching information

 CORI: cycle of researching information

Explore Source Types: Peer Review

Learning Objectives

After completing this module, you will be able to:
Explain what peer review is and why it is important
Locate peer-reviewed articles
 Recognize the difference between scholarly and peer reviewed materials

Explore Source Types: Peer Review

Tips for Viewing and Using the Tutorials

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Access tutorial button

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Tutorials will have navigation links across the top that you will use to advance through the pages. They will look similar to this:

After completing the tutorial, close the browser tab or window to return back to this page.

peer review tips

What are peer reviewed sources?

The publication is a scholarly journal.
The authors are scholars or professionals in the field and conduct original research.
The written article is submitted to a journal for review by the editor and a group of three - five peers who are considered experts in that subject.
If the reviewers agree that the article follows a standard research process, is of high quality with valid findings, the article will be accepted for publication in the journal.
If the article does not meet the standards, it will be rejected for publication.

The Peer Review Process

peer review process

Text Version of Peer Review Process
  1. Article: Generate idea. Develop theory & hypothesis. Write & revise manuscript.
  2. Journal: Submit to publisher and editor.
  3. Peers: Reviewed by 3 - 5 experts in the field.
  4. Decision to Publish: Accept? Reject? Revise?

Access Video: Peer Review

Peer Review Limiters

look for the peer reviewed limiter check box

Popular vs Trade vs Peer-Reviewed Sources


Popular Articles

(Magazines, newspapers, blogs, etc.)

Trade Publications

(these are similar to magazines, but for specific industries/businesses)

Journal Articles

(also known as scholarly or academic sources)

Subject Nutrition Examples
  • Newsweek
  • National Geographic
  • People
  • Psychology Today
  • The New York Times
  • Aviation Week
  • Chemical Week
  • Education Digest
  • Popular Mechanics
  • Billboard
  • School Library Journal
  • Journal of American History
  • Psychological Review
  • Journal of Business Ethics
  • Journal of Military History
  • Journal of Adult Education


  • Glossy cover and paper
  • Heavy focus on color images
  • Lots of advertisements
  • Shorter articles or commentary (1-5 pages)
  • Broad variety of public interest topics, may be cross disciplinary
  • Easy-to-read vocabulary
  • Eye-catching layout and design
  • Many colorful images
  • Advertisements, usually pertaining to the specialty of the publication
  • Shorter articles (1-5 pages)
  • Narrow topic
  • Vocabulary  not usually complex, but may contain specialized terminology
  • Eye-catching layout and design
  • Plain cover and paper
  • Text-intensive
  • Mostly black and white images
  • Lengthy articles with in-depth analysis
  • Vocabulary often complex and may use specialized terminology of the subject area
  • Graphs and tables
  • Structured sections (abstract, overview, literature review, etc.)
  • Very narrow and specific topics


  • Cover news and current events
  • Profiles on people, places, or events
  • Express political opinions
  • Report of developments and trends within the discipline or industry
  • Share results of original research
  • Advance knowledge in a specialty


  • Freelance or staff writers paid for their work
  • Profession is journalism
  • Members of the industry or profession
  • Researchers or scholars with academic credentials

Target Audience

  • General public
  • Professional community
  • General public
  • Scholars
  • Researchers
  • Students

Content Review

  • Content is reviewed by the magazine or newspaper editor
  • Content may be reviewed by members of the field or by an editor
  • Content is reviewed by other scholars in the field--called Peer-Review


  • Rarely have citations or notes
  • Sometimes have citations or notes
  • Have citations and notes in a formal style


  • Commercial companies for profit
  • Professional associations, foundations
  • Scholarly societies
  • Professional Associations
  • Academic Presses

Not all journal articles are peer-reviewed.
You can find all three types of sources using the CCAC databases.

Book reviews and editorials are not considered scholarly, even if found in a journal.
Both magazine and journal articles can be good sources for your research.

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