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Plant Pathology: Find an Article

Is it peer reviewed/refereed?

Q. Which journals have peer-reviewed articles?

A. To find out if a journal is peer reviewed (also known as refereed), you can use the Ulrich's International Periodicals Directory. Search by journal title, ISSN, etc. and look for the tiny referee shirt   as an indicator.

referee shirt

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

A. Not every article in a peer-reviewed journal is a peer-reviewed article. Some scholarly journals also publish letters, conference notes, news items, etc. Look at the full text of the article you're interested in. A peer-reviewed article will show a string of dates, usually either near the abstract or at the bottom of the 1st page of the PDF version or at the end of the article, to indicate that the article was reviewed and usually revised.

Example: Manuscript received November 9, 2007; revised March 5, 2008. Published September 4, 2008.

Recommended Databases

  • CAB Abstracts (in Web of Knowledge)
    International in scope. Great for multi-disciplinary research.
    Primarily for U.S. agriculture
  • Global Plant Initiative (JSTOR)
    Community-contributed database that features more than two million high resolution plant type specimen images and other foundational materials from the collections of hundreds of herbaria around the world.
  • Biosis
    Great for biological sciences/organism information.
  • Ecology Abstracts (1982-current)
    Current ecology research across a wide range of disciplines, reflecting recent advances in light of growing evidence regarding global environmental change and destruction.
  • ASAE
    Technical documents published by American Society of Agricultural Engineers
  • Biological & Agricultural Index
    Agricultural research, biology, environmental science, genetics, horticulture, physiology, veterinary medicine, wildlife management and much more.
  • Web of Science
  • SciFinder Scholar (or UF Access Instructions)
    Chemicals and substances, including biological materials.
  • Turfgrass Information File 
    Journals, reports, and media related to turfgrass science.
  • Agris
    International agriculture information.
  • EDIS - Extension Digital Information Source
    UF's extension documents. Applied information related to crops, finance, family, etc.
  • WorldCat
    Database listing books held by world libraries.




Article Types

What type of article are you looking for or looking at?

These categories are not rigid and some of them overlap.  Here are some characteristics to help identify the article type:

Research articles:

  • typically published in a journal
  • highly likely to have been peer-reviewed
  • They are structured like lab reports, with sections for:  the abstract or summary of the project, introduction and literature review, hypothesis or experimental question, method or procedure used, results and data gathered,  the analysis or interpretation of the data, and conclusions.
  • Their purpose is to serve as the primary (first) report of research, and they are used by practitioners as a theoretical base for their applications. Research articles contain highly technical language for an experienced or educated audience.
  • Not every article in a peer-reviewed journal is peer-reviewed.  Many academic or research journals also include editorials, comments, conference summaries, and reviews that may not be peer-reviewed.

Peer reviewed (or Refereed):

  • usually (but not always) research articles
  • frequently, but not always, identified by a string of acceptance dates. Passage of time between submission of the draft and final acceptance suggests that the author’s peers reviewed the article for sense and value of the contribution, and submitted suggestions to make the article stronger. 
  • peer review is typically conducted anonymously by scholars external to the author's institution.  In "double blind peer review" the authors names are also concealed from reviewers.

Review articles:

  • summarize published literature about a topic, providing historical context for current research
  • may identify trends, replication of results, and hypotheses that need further research and testing

Conference papers:

  • may present "works in progress
  • In some cases the paper may be peer-reviewed, and sometimes only the abstract is peer-reviewed.  Conference papers might be published in conference proceedings, or the authors may wait to publish the complete version of the article in a peer-reviewed journal.

Technical reports: (not peer reviewed)

  • are structured like case studies: or "how I solved this problem."
  • They serve as a project report to the funding source, which may be a federal, state, or local government agency.  Tech reports are not always available; they may be kept proprietary, especially if client is a non-governmental corporation.

Trade publication articles: (not peer reviewed)

  •  frequently published in magazines or journals
  •  written for practitioners
  • They are structured informally, and they may contain lots of advertising and short news items providing up-to-date information about products, meetings and research.  Articles are brief and usually do not have references at the end.

Popular articles: (not peer reviewed)

  • published in magazines and and other news sources intended for non-specialist audiences
  • typically do not contain original research results

Websites, press releases, encyclopedia entries:

  • use with caution, and evaluate for authority, accuracy, objectivity, currency, and coverage
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