Why does your instructor want you to use peer-reviewed articles?
Your instructors expect you to use true, reliable, and authoritative information in your college-level assignments. The gold standard of good information in higher education is the peer-reviewed article. Peer-reviewed articles bring together existing information in the field, go in depth about specific topics, and are written by experts. In short, they are guaranteed* to be true, reliable, and authoritative.
So it's important for you to think critically about, and always evaluate, your resources!
What are peer-reviewed articles?
Peer-reviewed articles are published with the intent of sharing new research and information from specialized fields with researchers, professionals, and students. The process of peer review helps to ensure that each published article is unique, accurate, credible, and objective. Peer-reviewed articles can be published in print journals, online journals, and academic and research organizations’ websites.
Characteristics of a Peer-Reviewed Article
Information is organized into sections with headings: Abstract, introduction, literature review, methods, results, discussion, and references.
Usually long and in-depth; 10-20 pages is normal.
Includes graphs or tables but few, if any, images or advertisements.
Includes specialized or field-specific language.
Information is presented objectively, without bias.
Includes reference lists and in-text citations.
Published quarterly or semi-annually.
Inform other scholars and students in higher education of new research and findings.
Experts in their fields: researchers conducting primary research, practitioners, professors and scholars. Credentials are either provided in the article or easy to access.
Often an organization will publish a journal (e.g., the American Medical Association publishes JAMA and the Archives of Internal Medicine.)
CCC Library catalog: Limit to peer-reviewed articles
How to recognize characteristics of and efficiently read peer-reviewed journal articles. Last updated Jan. 2017.
Taking notes on a peer-reviewed research article
Reading peer-reviewed, academic research articles is not easy. Identifying pertinent information, distinguishing articles from one another, and recalling what you read will get more routine with time and practice. To help you with that process, use this template to organize your thoughts. Rereading your notes will be way easier than rereading an entire article!