Q. What is peer review?
A. For an article to be published in an academic journal, it must be examined by experts in the field. They determine whether the information is reliable, well researched, and of interest to others who study that subject. Click on image for 5 min video explanation of peer review from North Carolina State University.
Q. How can I tell if an article is peer-reviewed?
A. There are several ways to determine if an article is refereed (peer-reviewed). The best way is to read the publisher's policies at the journal website (look for Peer Review or Editorial Policy, Submission or Author Guidelines). Ulrich's Global Serials Directory also indicates whether a journal is refereed/peer-reviewed. Beware that peer-reviewed journals also include content that is not peer reviewed, such as letters and book reviews. A peer-reviewed article will usually 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, showing when the article was submitted, revised, and accepted.
Databases may offer the ability to filter search results to display only peer-reviewed publications. Search engines, like Google Scholar, includes both peer-reviewed and "grey" literature that is not commercially published and may not be peer reviewed.