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Arts in Medicine: Scholarly & Peer Review

How do I know if it's scholarly?

Scholarly journals are usually characterized by the following:

  • Original research, bibliographies, or literature reviews
  • The content explores theories or research findings
  • Usually peer-reviewed
  • Lengthy bibliographies and reference lists
  • Published by academic presses

Trade publications are generally characterized by the following:

  • Content written by professionals for others in their industry
  • Practice based rather than research based content
  • Information on industry trends, news, products, and techniques
  • Are usually edited rather than peer reviewed
  • Published by trade organizations


Tips on Evaluating Sources

Peer Review in 3 Minutes

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, book reviews, 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.

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