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The premier journal citation database for the biomedical sciences

Peer Review

Good news! Most of the journals in Medline/PubMed are peer reviewed.  Generally speaking, if you find a journal citation in Medline/PubMed you should be just fine. However, as you can see in the PubMed FAQ, there is no way to limit your results within the PubMed or the Medline on Ebsco interface to knock out the few publications that are not considered referred titles.

However, Ebsco (a third party vendor) does provide a list of all titles within Medline and lets you see which titles are considered peer reviewed. You can check if your journal is OK - see the "peer Review" tab in the report below to see the very small list of titles that don't make the cut.

What is Peer Review?

So your professor asked you to limit your research to peer reviewed articles. What does this mean?

Generally speaking, the question of peer review most commonly arises when talking about the journal literature. Peer review is the process by which research is assessed for quality, relevancy, and accuracy.  In a peer reviewed, or refereed journal, each manuscript submitted to the publisher is first reviewed anonymously by a group of experts - peers in the same field of study. These reviewers assess the quality of the research, the accuracy of the findings, and the relevancy of the research to the journal or profession.

Peer review is like quality control.  You should be able to trust the scholarship of the research. 

All of the journal citation databases provided by the library include peer review journals. Not sure which journal database to use for your research? Need help limiting your search results to scholarly/peer reviewed materials? We're here to help. Call or email the library for more information. To learn more about the search features of specific databases, see the library guide on that resource.

For a more extensive discussion about the peer review process or academic scholarship, the following guide is recommended for further reading.

Des Moines University Library