Your instructors may require you to use scholarly or peer-reviewed articles. These articles have been through a critical review process before they are published. Some databases, like Academic Search Premier, have limits you can use to narrow your search to only scholarly or peer-reviewed articles.

What is peer review?

The editor of a journal sends the draft to 3 to 5 "peers" or "experts" in that field. The experts review the article and make sure the research has been done ethically, that the data and conclusions are correct, and evaluate it based on criteria of the journal. If it meets these criteria it is published in that journal. Another term for peer-reviewed is "refereed". Think of the expert who reviews articles as a referee, making the call about what is and is not scholarly.

For more information, try this video-Scholarly vs. Popular Periodicals from Vanderbilt University.

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