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SIRE 299R: Scholarly Inquiry and Research Experience

Spring 2024 (Atlanta)

Types of sources

When it comes to selecting sources, we most often want primary, peer-reviewed articles. What does that mean?

Sources can be categorized in a couple ways: They may be scholarly or non-scholarly, and under scholarly sources, they may be primary, secondary, or tertiary.

Scholarly and non-scholarly sources

Find primary peer-reviewed articles

What is peer review, and how may you identify if your source is peer-reviewed?
Peer review refers to the evaluation of scientific/academic articles submitted to journals. These evaluations are done by the author's peers—meaning researchers and scholars—who are experts in the same field of study. The reviewers assess the validity of the data, the author's conclusions, and the novelty of the research to determine if it should be published in the journal. In short, peer review ensures the good quality and credibility of research!

To determine if your articles are peer-reviewed, go to the publishing journal's website. Here, you will be able to find information about the journal, how articles can be submitted, and the publication process. This information is often linked as information for authors, instructions for authors, submit an article, or something similar.


You may also refine your search within several databases to only result in peer-reviewed articles.



A good practice is to also find your article on Emory's Articles+ tool, where you can directly confirm peer-review status.