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RS 327/CLAS 326/GSJ 327: The Body, Dress, and Religion: Evaluation & Peer Review

How do I know if an article is peer-reviewed?

It is important to note that it is the JOURNAL which is designated as peer-reviewed, not necessarily the individual article. For example, some journals will have editorials or opinion pieces and these will not necessarily be peer-reviewed.

Some of the Research Databases have a limiter/facet for peer-reviewed and sometimes, the article itself will indicate original submission date and date of acceptance, which generally indicates that a review process has been undertaken.

However, if none of these indicators are present, there is a Research Database, Ulrichsweb Global Serials Directory, which allows users to get information about the journal, such as whether or not it is peer-reviewed. In Ulrichsweb, search the name of the journal in which your article is located. Under the Basic Description of the journal, look for “Refereed.” 

How can I learn more?

Visit the UW library’s online research guide Evaluating Information Sources.

What is peer review?

Evaluate using RADAR

You can use this "RADAR" guide to help you assess an item's quality and usefulness in your assignment.


Relevance: the importance of the information for your needs

  • Does this item support or help advance your work/argument?
  • Who is the intended audience?
  • Which discipline is this information from?

Authority: the source of your information

  • Who is the creator or author?
  • What are their credentials? Who are they affiliated with?
  • Does the URL reveal anything about the author or source?

Date: the timeliness of the information

  • When was the information created?
  • When was the information last updated?
  • Does your topic require recent information?
  • Could this work be used to provide historical context or comparision?

Accuracy: the reliability, truthfulness, and correctness of the content

  • Does it provide logical analysis?
  • Does it cite quality research and studies?
  • Has this work been peer-reviewed?

How do I know if an article is peer-reviewed?

Ulrichs Web Global Serials Directory can help. Search the name of the journal in the search box. Click on the its entry and discover information about the journal including including whether it contains peer-reviewed articles. Journals that do are referred to as “refereed.”

Reason for writing. Ask the question: is this item meant to inform, educate, persuade, sell something ...?

  • Why has this information been created?
  • What is the purpose of the information?
  • Who has funded this research? What are the aims of the funder?
  • Is the information fact, opinion, propaganda?
  • Is the language or tone unbiased and free from emotion?

Mandalios, Jane. “RADAR: An Approach for Helping Students Evaluate Internet Sources.” Journal of Information Science 39, no. 4 (2013): 470–78.

How Can I Tell If an Article is Peer-Reviewed?

Peer-reviewed articles may also be called “scholarly articles,” “academic articles,” or “referreed articles.” They are articles that have been reviewed by peers or experts in the author’s field of research/study.

Is an article is peer-reviewed?

  • Search for the journal title within Ulrich’s Periodicals Directory *note not the article title
  • If the journal is listed as “referreed” in Ulrich’s, it is a peer-reviewed journal

Some clues that an article is peer-reviewed:

  • It's long. Generally peer-reviewed articles are at least 10 pages long
  • It references other research articles and has a list of citations
  • It has the author's contact information and scholarly credentials (i.e. where they work, their education)
  • It is published by an academic publisher or academic/professional association

If you're still not sure, contact your instructor or a subject librarian.