Biology: About peer-reviewed Journals

Ulrichsweb Database

Check Ulrichsweb database for peer-review status

Why use Ulrichsweb?

  • Find out if a particular journal is peer reviewed
  • Find out which databases index a journal

How to use Ulrich's Web to determine if an article is in a peer-reviewed journal:

1. Ulrich's can tell you whether a journal is peer-reviewed, not individual articles (but, research articles in a peer-reviewed journal will be peer-reviewed).

2. Go to Ulrich's Web database from a GVSU link, either on a subject guide or from the database list, or use this link: Ulrichsweb

3. Enter the name of the journal/magazine (not the article or author!).

4. For example, I recently found this article through PubMed database. Notice the journal title is "Pediatric Obesity" (or Pediatr Obes for short):

PubMed screen grab

5. Next, go to Ulrichsweb and type in Pediatric Obesity. This is what the results look like:

Ulrich's Web


6. There are 2 versions of Pediatric Obesity, print and online. In either case, there is a "refereed" symbol (red circle) next to the journal name. This means the   journal is "refereed," which is another way of saying peer-reviewed.

     NOTE: not every article in a peer-reviewed journal may be peer-reviewed; commentary, news and opinion pieces usually are not peer-reviewed.

Verifying your Journal

What is peer-review?

Peer-review is an important additional step in the publishing process for some journals.  Articles submitted to peer-reviewed journals must be reviewed by at least one expert in the field.  The reviewer is evaluating the research presented in the article.  Articles that pass the peer-review process are published in the journal; those that don't pass are not published.

How do you I know if a journal is peer-reviewed (also called refereed)?

1. If you have a paper version of the journal you can look on the inside front cover to see if there is information regarding peer-review

2. Many times an editorial board will be listed on the inside front cover

3. If you are using a database and only have an electronic version of an article-you can still verify if the journal is peer-reviewed.  Do a search for the journal and go to the homepage. Go to the about us section (or something similar) and you should find information about whether or not the journal is peer-reviewed.

How can I tell if I have a research article?

Is there a Methods and/or Materials section?  Is there a Results section?  Is there a discussion section?  Is the article testing a hypothesis?  If you answered yes to these questions, you have a research article.  If you are unsure, ask a librarian!

Subjects: Biology
  • Last Updated: May 21, 2024 9:36 AM
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