Video courtesy of NCSU Libraries
Popular sources like magazines are widely available, usually less expensive to acquire, and can be understood by almost every person with basic literacy skills. They tend to promote, or make widely known, ideas and theories. These works may be professionally edited but do not go through a jury (peer-reviewed) process.
Scholarly or Academic Sources
The purpose of scholarly or academic sources is to share information within the subject field and they are based on original research and experimentation. They are suitable for academics, and are supported by a system of learning and study. They are less widely circulated than popular sources and may be understandable only to those who work or are learning about a particular field.
Scholarly sources are juried either through peer review or the referee process to determine that the research meets a standard of accuracy, originality, and scholarly integrity.
A "Peer Reviewed" or "Refereed" journal refers to the policy that when a manuscript is submitted for publication, it must be sent out to others in the same field to get an expert opinion on the scholarship of the research or contribution to the field.
The quickest way to find out if a journal is peer-reviewed/refereed is to look at Ulrich's Periodical Directory. If a journal in question is not on Ulrich's list, then look at the physical journal, or the journal's website, for its editorial policy, instructions to authors, and/or submission or publication requirements to help determine if the journal is peer-reviewed/refereed.
To access Ulrich's Periodical Dictionary, go to the One Search bar on the library home page (https://www.usd.edu/library) and select Ulrich's Periodical Dictionary from the drop-down menu. Or click on the full A-Z Databases hyperlink under the database tab and find it there.
Once in Ulrich's, type the name, or acronym, of the serial and look for an icon that resembles a referee's jersey. Ulrich's uses the terms peer-reviewed and refereed interchangeably, so the icon represents both terms. If the referee jersey icon is not present next to a journal, then it does not go through the peer-review process.
Finding Peer-Reviewed Articles
Some databases (i.e., CINAHL and Health Source: Nursing/Academic Edition) give you the option of filtering your search for articles in peer-reviewed journals only. Other databases (i.e., PubMed) do not have a filter to search only peer-reviewed journals; in these cases, you will want to check the journal name in Ulrich's or search the journal's website, for its editorial policy, instructions to authors, and/or submission or publication requirements to help determine is the journal is refereed and/or peer-reviewed.
libncsu. (2014, May 1). Peer Review in 3 Minutes. [Video] Retrieved from https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rOCQZ7QnoN0