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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 3-minute video below on scholarly articles and the peer-review process from the University of Washington:

Differences Between Journal Articles and Popular Magazines


Scholarly Journal

Popular Magazine
The Journal of Biological Chemistry
Time magazine
Content In-depth, primary account of original findings 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 Specialized terminology or jargon of the field; requires expertise in subject area. Vocabulary in general usage; easily understandable to most readers.
Graphics Graphs, charts, and tables; very few advertisements and photographs. Graphs, charts and tables; lots of glossy advertisements and photographs.
Layout & Organization 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.
Paging Page numbers are typically consecutive across multiple issues of each volume. Each issue begins with page 1.
Title Examples
Annals of Mathematics, Journal of Abnormal Psychology, History of Education Quarterly
Sports Illustrated, National Geographic, Time, Newsweek, Cooking Light, Discover

Peer Reviewed Child Development Publications

Young Children - (1964-2001) Issues available online through the JSTOR database. Recent issues also available in print at the SJC Library.

YC (title change continuation of Young Children) - (2002-present) Issues available online through JSTOR. Recent issues also available in print at the SJC Library.

Young Exceptional Children - (1999-present) Issues available in print at the MVC Library. Articles also searchable through the EBSCO database. Search for the journal name using EBSCO's Advanced Search option.

How to Find Scholarly (Peer Reviewed) Articles

Library databases can be used to find articles from peer-reviewed scholarly journals, magazines and newspapers.

Note: off-campus access to library databases requires that you sign on using your mymsjc username and password.

  • EBSCO Collection of Databases  
    A multidisciplinary database, Ebscohost provides access to full text articles from thousands of periodicals covering a wide variety of subjects and topics. Select the "Scholarly (peer-reviewed) journals" checkbox to limit  your results to scholarly journal articles.