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INFO Literacy: Understanding Resource Types: Home

What is Peer Reviewed?

Peer reviewed journals, can also be referred to as academic or scholarly journals, feature content primarily academic in nature.

Articles or papers in these publications go through a rigorous review process by a field of peers/experts in the specific industry or academic field, for approval before publication. These articles include empirical research, scholarly discourse, and critical analysis of subject areas.

Understanding Science. 2019. University of California Museum of Paleontology. 2/22/2019 <>.


In the library’s databases, look for a box to select by Scholarly Peer Reviewed Journals or Peer Reviewed, to filter the results for that specific type of publication.
Note:  There can be general commentary and book reviews in academic or scholarly journals, however, that information is not considered peer reviewed.

Examples of non-peer reviewed resources include newspapers, magazines, trade publications, blogs, etc. 

Different Types of Resources

Peer-Reviewed Journals General Overview

  1. Audience: Academics or Scholars
  2. Content: Critical analysis of subject areas, empirical research. Scholarly peers and editors review and consider research before publication. 
  3. Format: Scholarly or Academic Journal, graphs, articles, charts, very limited advertising, academic level vocabulary.
  4. Additional Notes: Book reviews and conference proceedings may also appears, these are typically not considered peer-reviewed articles. 
  5. Example: Journal of Sport Management

Trade Journals or Trade Publication General Overview

  1. Audience: Industry professionals (also students and academics)
  2. Content: Technical relating to news, research and top trends in industry. May be technically written, depending on subject area.
  3. Format: Magazine or newspaper format.
  4. Additional Notes: Most trade journals are not peer-reviewed. Review the publication information for more details. 
  5. Example: Recreation Management

Popular Resources: Magazines and Newspapers General Overview

  1. Audience: General Public
  2. Content: General topics, trends, news, etc. 
  3. Format: Features prominent advertising, general layouts vary. 
  4. Additional Notes: May contain entertainment or trending news. 
  5. Example: Time


  1. Audience: General or specific (depending on focus)
  2. Content: Language and information may vary by subject area.
  3. Format: Can be in PDF or digital e-book format.
  4. Additional Notes: Full text availability may vary. 
  5. Example: Titles are wide-ranging

Government Resources

  1. Audience: Wide ranging from general public to academics
  2. Content: Studies, reports, facts-and more.
  3. Format: Can be articles, reports featured in databases and websites
  4. Additional Notes: For websites look for .gov in URL
  5. Example: U.S. Census:

Web Resources General Overview

  1. Audience: General public (unless specified niche area)
  2. Content: Varies, may feature advertising
  3. Format: Can vary widely
  4. Additional Notes: Not considered peer-reviewed
  5. Example: Library of Congress website: