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Peer-Reviewed Journals and Articles:  

What is a Peer-Reviewed Journal?

Issues of Journal of the Polynesian Society and Pacific ScienceA 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.

"Scholarly journal" is a general term for periodicals with articles written by researchers to advance knowledge an academic field. Many, but not all scholarly journals use the peer-review process to choose their articles.

Finding Peer-Reviewed Articles

Research Database Filters

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 Be aware that these journals may contain content like editorials, book reviews, and letters to the editor that are not peer-reviewed.

Do a search for your topic. On the list of articles found by your search, open the Availability menu on the left of the screen and choose Peer-reviewed Journals.
Either on the search screen before you search, or on the results list after you search, click on the Scholarly (Peer Reviewed) Journals checkbox.
Click on the Peer Reviewed checkbox under the search term box before you perform your search. Note – ABI/INFORM Collection is the only ProQuest database we currently subscribe to that has peer-reviewed content.
All articles are from peer-reviewed journals.

The Article's References List

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//"), see our guide on Digital Object Identifiers for how you can use the DOI to obtain the article.

Availability of Articles

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:

By default, shows you only articles it can provide full text for. You can turn on Expand My Results to show all the articles it knows about, whether or not full text is available.
When you search EBSCOhost, the results list shows you all articles it has information on, whether or not full text is available. For articles without full text in EBSCO, you can click the Find It button to see if it can find the article text in one of our other databases. You can choose to limit your search results to only articles with full text in EBSCO, by clicking on the Full Text checkbox, either on the search screen or the results list.
The Full Text checkbox is selected by default.
Shows you all articles, with or without full text. Click on the Subscribed Journals checkbox to limit your results to only articles with full text.

Obtaining Articles That Are Not in Our Databases

You have several options for obtaining articles from journals that are not full-text in our databases:

Search for a library that subscribes to the journal
Search the Primo catalog for the journal name (not the article title), using the "All UH Libraries Catalog" option. You may be able to submit a request for a copy of the article online. You can also ask us to try to obtain a copy. You may also choose to visit the other library.
Search the Internet for the name of the journal
Some journals are available on an Open Access basis, where the publisher allows you to read articles for free.
Purchase an article reprint
Many journal publishers sell reprints of individual articles. However, these reprints tend to be rather expensive. The library will not cover this fee.

Search Scope Options:

Search many of the library's databases. Partial coverage of EBSCOhost databases.
EBSCO Search
Use Primo to search the EBSCOhost databases. You must log in to Primo to use this search.
Journal Search
See if we subscribe to a particular periodical or have access through our databases.

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.

Journal Databases

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.

More Information

Learn more about periodicals and how to find articles.