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Peer Review

How to locate peer reviewed articles

When searching for articles, you can limit your search to peer reviewed content using a limiter checkbox. Look for the checkbox on the library search results page, an Advanced Search page, or a database search page.

Click the tabs below to see examples showing where to find the limiter checkbox when using different search tools.

Here is a screenshot of the Deakin Library search results screen which shows the peer review checkbox highlighted.

You can use this limiter to restrict your search results so they only show content from peer reviewed journals.

This image shows the Deakin Library Advanced Search screen with the peer review checkbox highlighted.

In this example, the researcher has entered their search criteria on the Advanced Search panel and has selected the peer review limiter before pressing the Search button.

Other databases may include a function to limit your search results to peer reviewed content. If the function exists it will usually be visible on the Advanced Search screen. The position and appearance of the limiter can vary as the examples below show.

Database examples showing peer review checkbox highlighted


How to recognise peer reviewed journals

Here are some different methods you can use to determine if an article comes from a peer reviewed journal.

Check the journal

  1. Start with a Google search to locate the journal's website.
  2. It differs for each journal, but information about peer review is often found on one of these pages:
    • about us
    • editorial policies
    • instructions for authors
    • submission guidelines

If you have a printed copy of the journal, you can check its publication information which is often found near the Table of Contents.

Ulrich's Periodical Directory

This is a searchable list of periodicals with information on which journals are peer reviewed. Here are the steps to check Ulrichs.

  • On the Library homepage, click on Databases A-Z.
  • In the letter options, click on U
  • Click on Ulrich's Periodical Directory.
  • If prompted, log on using your Deakin credentials.
  • In Ulrich's search box, enter the journal title, not the article title.
  • Click Search and find your journal in the search results.
  • Look for the refereed icon which is shaped like an umpire's jersey. "Refereed" is another term for peer reviewed, so this symbol indicates the journal is peer reviewed.
  • Here is an example of Ulrich's search results with the refereed icon circled.
    Ulrichs search example showing refereed icon circled

What do the journal articles look like?

Look out for these features which are usually found in peer-reviewed articles: 

  • scholarly and technical language
  • abstract or summary
  • literature review
  • methodology
  • results
  • key recommendations or conclusion
  • references
  • author’s academic affiliations
  • no advertising


Peer reviewed journals can sometimes contain content that is not peer reviewed, such as letters to the editor, editorial pieces, book reviews etc. So be aware of this and don't assume that everything you read in a peer reviewed journal has been reviewed with the same process.