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BIOL 418: Wildlife Management

Is this peer-reviewed?

When you're looking for a peer reviewed source, you're looking for an original piece of research that has been published in an academic journal.

There are several tools that can help determine if an article is peer-reviewed:

1. Sort your search results by Source Type: "academic journal" to make sure you're using a scholarly source instead of a magazine or newspaper. Some databases will also have a "peer reviewed" filter you can apply.

screenshot of search results with arrow pointing to "peer reviewed" search filter on the left

2. If there isn't a peer-reviewed filter in your database, you can check to see if the journal that published your article is peer reviewed. Original research published in a peer-reviewed journal will be considered peer reviewed. To confirm if a journal is peer reviewed:

  • click on the journal title to see its profile in our database

screenshot of journal info from "about" page online, with "peer reviewed" highlighted  

screenshot of journal info from "about" page online, with "peer reviewed" highlighted

  • or google the journal title to find it's website; peer reviewed journals will generally mention their credentials on their homepage or "about" page.

Occasionally there are pieces in a peer reviewed journal that are not technically peer reviewed research articles, such as book reviews or literature reviews. However, if it is a research article (i.e., if it's original research with a methods section) in a peer reviewed journal, then the article would be considered peer reviewed.

Still not sure if your article is peer reviewed? Bring it to the library or chat with a librarian who can help you.

Is this a primary source?

Is this a primary source?

When you are trying to identify primary sources in the sciences, you are looking for first-hand, contemporary, original research with direct evidence or data.

Primary sources in the sciences could be conference papers, dissertations, letters, lab reports, studies, or peer-reviewed scholarly work, all with original research. This work often includes an abstract, an introduction, methods, results, and discussion sections. A good way to identifying a primary source in the sciences is to check for a methods section in the article - if it's a primary source, the authors themselves were involved in the original research and will have included a methods section describing their experiment.