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Searching for journal articles

Quicker, smarter, more effective searching.

What is a peer-reviewed journal article?

Publishing without peer review - articles are submitted, selected and possibly modified by the editor, and published.

Illustration of submit-edit-publish process without peer review

Publishing with peer review - submitted articles are reviewed by other experts in the field before being accepted for publication.

Illustration of submit-peer review-publish process


In some databases, the filter or limit for peer-reviewed journals refers to them as Academic or Scholarly journals. In this context, they are the same thing: credible journals in the academic field are peer-reviewed.



Narrowing down


Click the Transcript button to see the transcript of the video above

Often you will get more results than you need.

Many databases have limits, or refinements, that allow you to restrict your results even further.

One restriction, for example, is to limit to scholarly or academic journal articles

You can also limit to recent articles, say in the last four or five years.

You may restrict even further to peer-reviewed articles, which have gone through a quality review process before publishing

Some databases will also allow you to limit further by choosing major sub-topics within your results.


You can also use similar limits in the Library's QuickSearch resource

Here the limit is called peer-reviewed journals. Like academic or refereed articles, these are journal articles which are reviewed for quality before they are published, and have more academic credibility.

Once again, you can also limit by year of publication.

And again, you can also limit by major sub-topic within your results.

Try it yourself

Using refinements in QuickSearch

Use the box below to search the Library's QuickSearch for journal articles on online education and nursing.

  1. Type in "online education" AND nursing. (Include the quotation marks around "online education". Please change nursing to your own discipline, such as engineering or business).
  2. Click Peer-reviewed Journals on the right (in the Availability section). This will limit your results to only peer-reviewed ("quality-checked") journal articles.
  3. Then use the Creation Date - type in the text boxes to set the years - to limit results to the last few years of publication. Click the Refine button to apply the date restriction.


Library QuickSearch - items on the shelves or in the Library's electronic collections and subscriptions


Using refinements in a database

Use ERIC below to type "online education" AND nursing. (please change nursing to your own discipline, such as engineering or business).

With this free version of ERIC you have to limit to peer reviewed articles at the time of searching, by ticking the Peer reviewed only checkbox, rather than adding it as a refinement after you search.

After you have searched, click the Since 2011 (last 5 years) link in the Publication Date box on the left.

Connect to ERIC


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