Scholarly and peer-reviewed vs. popular articles
|"Flag of Victory over the Reichstag", photograph by Evgenii Khaldei, May 2, 1945. Source: Wikipedia. Image may be under copyright.|
Peer review is the process used in scholarly publishing to verify the quality of the research and maintain the credibility of publications.
Submissions to a peer-reviewed journal are evaluated by a panel of scholars within the field who make sure that the research is sound, that it is a significant contribution to the field and that the article meets the standards of scholarly publishing. Not all scholarly articles are peer-reviewed, but most peer-reviewed articles are scholarly.
One way to quickly determine if an article you've found is peer-reviewed (referreed) is to look up the name of the journal in
Peer-reviewed journals are marked with a referee jersey icon: .
Note: book reviews and editorials are generally not considered scholarly articles, even when they appear in peer-reviewed journals.
Scholarly sources are distinguished from popular sources in several ways:
|Scholarly articles||Popular articles|
|Author(s)||Scholars within the field. Affiliations typically listed, and are typically academic institutions.||Journalists, professional writers|
|Audience||Other scholars & students||General public|
|Content||Original research||General information, opinions, entertainment|
|References||Cite other scholarly works & primary sources to support the thesis||Few or no citations|
Here is an example of a scholarly, peer-reviewed article:
Maxwell, Alexander. 2007. "National Endogamy and Double Standards: Sexuality and Nationalism in East-Central Europe During the 19th Century." Journal Of Social History 41, no. 2: 413-433. Historical Abstracts, EBSCOhost (accessed August 13, 2013).
Here is an example of a scholarly article that is not peer-reviewed:
Bergman, Eleonora. 2011. "Strictly Polish: Synagogues of the Early Twentieth Century." Jewish History 25, no. 1: 103-120. Historical Abstracts, EBSCOhost (accessed August 13, 2013).
Here is an example of a popular article:
Ahmari, Sohrab. 2012. "Dancing Over Catastrophes: The Far Right and Roma in Hungary." Dissent 59, no. 1: 16-21. Academic Search Complete, EBSCOhost (accessed August 13, 2013).