What Is It?
First, you should know that an academic journal is a periodical (newspaper, journal, or magazine) with articles written by academics or scholars on a specialized topic.
Second, although most periodicals have an editing and review process, academic journals with peer review take this a step further. Published articles must pass a rigorous review by the scholar's peers, who are experts on a given topic. Peer reviewers often use criterion such as research methodology, relevance to the field, the author's credentials, and more.
Academic/scholarly vs. peer-reviewed journals
The phrases academic journal, scholarly journal and peer-reviewed journal are often used interchangeably*. However, not all academic journals use peer review.
How to check your article for peer review
If you click Peer-reviewed when searching any of our databases, the articles in your results should fall into this category.
To double-check that your article is peer-reviewed, enter the EXACT title (with quotation marks around it) into Ulrich's database (click Databases: A-Z on our homepage to find it). If it is peer-reviewed (also known as "refereed") you will see a black and white referee shirt icon like the one in the picture.
Note: multiple search results for the same title often occur for different formats, such as print, online, and microform. For a more detailed search, use the Advanced Search feature.
|A "referee shirt" icon indicates that a periodical is peer-refereed (or reviewed).|
*Some academic or scholarly journals can also be "open-access," which means that you do not have to be subscribed to a database to read them. Here is an example.