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Psychobiology PSYC2080: Finding Peer-Reviewed Articles

What is a peer-reviewed article anyway?

You are required to use "peer-reviewed" articles for your article summaries. Don't waste your time collecting and reading articles that are not peer-reviewed. Before you begin your research, watch this 10 minute video!
Scholarly (peer-reviewed) vs. Popular Articles

If you have problems viewing the tutorial, please contact a librarian.


Use the eJournal Portal to browse the magazines and journals that the library has electronically.

Finding Articles

Start with the first database, PsycArticles, to find your peer-reviewed journal articles. If you don't know what "peer-reviewed" means, see the tutorial in the box on the left!

Is your article peer-reviewed?

Once you have found an article in PsycArticles or another research database, doublecheck that it is truly peer-reviewed. Here are some characteristics to look for.

  1. Long articles, often 10-20 pages.
  2. An "abstract" at the beginning of the article. The abstract is a paragraph summary of the article. Researchers can quickly read the abstract and decide if the article is appropriate to their research needs.
  3. Many citations at the end of the article, probably between 20 and 50. Before publishing their own original research, the authors have done a lot of background reading to build on previous work.
  4. Often articles will contain maps, charts, and tables of data. These articles won't look like the glossy ones you find in National Geographic with lots of photos.
  5. Who is the article written for? Is this written at a level that anyone can understand, or is it intended to be read by people who have an academic background in psychology? Peer-reviewed articles will be difficult to understand because they are written for an educated, academic audience.
  6. Click on the title of the journal in which your article is published. Many databases will display a page that will specify whether or not this is a peer-reviewed, academic journal. If in doubt, ask your librarian!