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PSYCH 3002 - Research Methods in Psychology

A guide to using APA PsycInfo, Google Scholar, determining if a journal is peer-reviewed, and limiting to empirical studies. Includes directions for creating a Zotero account, how to upload citations to Zotero, and how to download citations in APA format.

Checking for Peer-Review - Three Options

Here are three methods for the checking peer-reviewed (refereed) status of a journal:

  1. OneSearch - easiest method if you have the title of an article
  2. UlrichsWeb - most comprehensive list of journals (currently only works on campus) (must have journal name)
  3. Scholar's Portal - if you're off campus and you only have the name of the journal


About Peer Review and Databases that limit to Peer-Reviewed Journals


Peer-Review Check - Option #1 - OneSearch (library website)

 Type the title of your journal article into OneSearch to determine if the journal is peer-reviewed.  Look for the Peer-Reviewed icon in the results box.



If the journal that this article was published in is peer reviewed (refereed), then a blue icon and a PEER REVIEWED label will appear in the results.


If your article doesn't appear in the OneSearch results -
which will happen if we don't subscribe to the journal -
you can still generate a OneSearch record by clicking on
the option Expand My Results -
found on the right-hand side of the results page.



Peer-Review Check - Option #2 - "UlrichsWeb"



For instance if I search for journals with the word "Psychology" in the title UlrichsWeb indicates that:

Film Psychology is not refereed (it is not peer reviewed)

Political Psychology is refereed (it is peer reviewed)

Pastoral Psychology is refereed (it is peer reviewed)

Checking to see if pscyhology journals are peer-reviewed (or refereed) by using the database Ulrich's. The black and white referee's shirt icon will indicate that a journal is peer-reviewed. One can also click on the title of the article in Ulrich's to be given a table of journal details which include information about peer-review.


WARNING  the black-and-white referee icon is the icon to watch for when determining if a journal is peer-reviewed (refereed).  Do not pay any attention to the gold stars (which are labeled "reviewed" ... but in this case that just means the journal was "reviewed" by a librarian for UlrichsWeb ... it does NOT mean that the journal is "peer reviewed").


You can also click on the title of the entry - e.g., Political Psychology - which will generate a table with details about the journal - including whether it is refereed (peer-reviewed).

Click on titles in Ulrich's database to receive details about the journal - including whether the journal is refereed or not.

Peer-Review Check - Option #3 - "Scholar's Portal"


About Peer Review and Databases that limit to Peer-Reviewed Journals


To maintain high levels of quality and reliability, the most respected and dependable journals in Sociology require all manuscripts (potential articles) to be reviewed by other experts (peers) to determine whether the submitted scholarship meets the high standards of the journal.

This process is called peer review and journals that utilize peer review are often referred to as refereed journals.  


To be sure you are using the highest quality research and scholarship in your projects you should gather your materials from peer reviewed journals / refereed journals   


How can you be sure you are working with a peer-reviewed journal?


When searching OneSearch you can limit your results after you search by clicking on the "Peer-reviewed Journals" option found on the right-hand column of the results page:

The Peer-reviewed Journal option in OneSearch (the Rod Library search engine)


However, you might find an article using Google Scholar or from a reference list or using the cited by option in Google Scholar. Since you can't limit to peer-reviewed journals with these techniques you need to use the database UlrichsWeb or the Scholar's Portal to determine if the journal that published your article was refereed (peer-reviewed).