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SHP Textbook Reserve: Finding Peer-Reviewed Articles

Peer-Reviewed Articles

What is a peer-reviewed article?

Peer-reviewed (also known as refereed or scholarly) journal articles are written by experts and are reviewed by several other experts in the field before the article is published in the journal in order to insure the article’s quality (the article is more likely to be scientifically valid, reach reasonable conclusions, etc.)

How can I tell if a journal is peer-reviewed

Most journals have a website that includes information about whether it is peer-reviewed. 

Find the journal's website through a Google search and then look for a link with information about the journal or how to submit articles.  The link may say something similar to the following:

  • "About this journal"
  • "Author Information"
  • "Instructions & Guidelines"
  • "Instructions for authors"
  • "How to submit"
  • "Submission guidelines"

Once you find the page, you may want to use the control-F function (hold down the control key on your keyboard and tap the "F" key) to quickly search the page for the word "peer" or "referee".

Please note that even if a journal is peer-reviewed, not all the articles in that journal may participate in the peer-review process.  Editorials, letters, and invited papers are usually not peer-reviewed even if they appear in a peer-reviewed journal.

Peer Review in 3 Minutes

Library Resources for SHP Students

Need more help?

Librarians are happy to meet with you for additional help. 

Give us a call: 713-792-2282 or email rml-help@mdanderson.org

Can I limit search results to peer-reviewed publications?

Some of our databases and search engines will allow you to limit results to peer-reviewed publications.


In Summon, our library search engine that searches all of our holdings simultaneously, you can limit results to scholarly publications including peer-reviewed journals, or to peer-reviewed journals only (excluding other types of scholarly publications).  To limit, use the checkbox filters to the left of the search results list.  


In CINAHLAcademic Search CompletePsychology and Behavioral Sciences Collection, and other databases available through the Ebsco interface, click on the "Show More" link in the left-hand column.  A new window with additional filters will open.  Put a checkmark in the box that says "Peer Reviewed".  

Unfortunately, PubMedScopus, and databases available through the Ovid interface (including MEDLINE) do not have an option to limit to peer-reviewed publications, although you can limit to specific types of publications such as clinical trials, systematic reviews, etc.


If you search for a journal by title using our Journal Search on our website, there is an option to limit to Peer Reviewed journals. You can also use the Journal Search to look up a journal to see if it is Peer Reviewed.


If you need to determine whether a particular journal is peer-reviewed, see our recommendation here.