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Child Development 125: Socialization

What is a Scholarly Peer Reviewed Article?

Your instructor has asked you to find an article in a scholarly or peer-reviewed journal. Scholarly journals are different from popular magazines in several important ways. A primary difference between scholarly journals and other types of magazines is that articles in these journals undergo a "peer review" process before they are published. What does this mean?

  • Peer review is the process by which an author's peers, recognized researchers in the field, read and evaluate a paper (article) submitted for publication and recommend whether the paper should be published, revised, or rejected.
  • Peer review is a widely accepted indicator of quality scholarship in a discipline or field. Articles accepted for publication through a peer review process meet the discipline's expected standards of expertise.
  • Peer-reviewed (or refereed) journals are scholarly journals that only publish articles that have passed through this review process.

Adapted from San Diego State University Library.

What is a Scholarly Journal Article? Video

  • Watch the three minute video below on scholarly articles/peer review process from the University of Washington (hence the Husky at the beginning of the video:). 

Differences Between Journal Articles and Popular Magazines


Scholarly Journal

Popular Magazine
The Journal of Biological Chemistry
Time magazine
Content (Accuracy)
In-depth, primary account of originalfindings written by the researcher(s);very specific information, with the goal of scholarly communication.

Secondary discussion of someone else's research; may include personal narrative or opiniongeneral information, purpose is to entertain or inform.
Author (Authority)
Author's credentials are provided; usually a scholar or specialist with subject expertise.

Author is frequently a journalist paid to write articles, may or may not have subject expertise.
Audience (Coverage)
Scholars, researchers, and students.

General public; the interested non-specialist.
Language (Coverage)
Specialized terminology or jargon of the field; requires expertise in subject area.

Vocabulary in general usage; easily understandable to most readers.
Graphics (Coverage)
Graphs, charts, and tables; very few advertisements and photographs.

Graphs, charts and tables; lots of glossy advertisements and photographs.
Layout & Organization (Currency)
Structured; includes the article abstract, goals and objectives, methodology, results (evidence), discussion, conclusion, and bibliography.

Informal; may include non-standard formatting. May not present supporting evidence or a conclusion.
Accountability (Objectivity)
Articles are evaluated by peer-reviewers* or referees who are experts in the field; edited for content, format, and style.

Articles are evaluated by editorial staff, not experts in the field; edited for format and style.
References (Objectivity)
Required. Quotes and facts are verifiable.

Rare. Little, if any, information about source materials is given.
Page numbers are consecutive throughout the volume.

Each issue begins with page 1.
Other Examples

Annals of Mathematics, Journal of Abnormal Psychology, History of Education Quarterly

Sports Illustrated, National Geographic, Time, Newsweek, Ladies Home Journal, Cooking Light, Discover

Peer Review Video

An author (a Phd student at the University of Bristol in the UK) talks about the process of submitting an article to peer reviewed journals for publication. (Approx. 5 min.)


How to Find Scholarly (Peer Reviewed) Articles

Library article databases such as EbscoHost and Proquest, are used to find peer reviewed journals

Note: off-campus access to these databases requires that you sign on using your mymsjc user name and password.

  • Ebscohost Premier Collection of Databases  
    A multidisciplinary databse, Ebscohost provides access to full text articles from thousands of periodicals covering a wide variety of subjects and topics. This database contains full-text articles from over 3,260 scholarly journals with many dating back to 1984. 
  • Proquest Direct
    An extensive magazine, newspaper and journal database covering social issues, business,health, science, economics, current events and more. Click on the "peer reviewed" checkbox, to limit searches to scholarly and peer-reviewed journals.  

Basic Ebsco Search

Proquest Basic Search

Peer Reviewed Print Only Publications

Young Children (YC) - In Print -1993 - Present 

Young Exceptional Children - In Print -1999-12~present