Peer-Reviewed (Refereed) Journals focus on a specific discipline or field and are edited by a jury of experts or scholars in that field. Editorial boards review each article submitted to the journal, publishing only those that abide by professional research standards in the given discipline. Think of articles in peer-reviewed journals as those that have been given the "stamp of approval" by experts in that discipline.
Main Purpose / Intent:
To inform other scholars and researchers about original research and new discoveries.
JAMA: Journal of the American Medical Association
Chemical Engineering Communications
Theoretical and Applied Climatology
American Economic Review
Most databases offer a way to limit your search to "scholarly" or "peer-reviewed" journals. CINAHL has a limit to peer-reviewed. PubMed does not have this limit.
Criteria to always keep in mind when evaluating information. These criteria can be applied to information both online and in print.
Who wrote it? What are their credentials or affiliations?
Who is it written for? What kind of language is used?
What is the purpose? To inform? Sell? Sway your opinion?
Is the information presented objectively?
When was it published or written?
How relevant is it to your topic?
Is the information either too specific or too general for your purposes?