You may have heard the terms "scholarly", "peer-reviewed", or "academic" used when discussing articles and books. Maybe you wondered what the difference is. In truth, there is very little difference. For the purposes of this guide, we'll use only the term "peer-reviewed".
Scholarly/Academic: Written by academics and experts. They are aimed at an audience who are academics, experts, or students. Scholarly articles are not necessarily peer-reviewed, but peer-reviewed articles are always scholarly.
Peer-Reviewed: An article that was written by academics and experts, and then reviewed by other academics and experts to assure it's accuracy and quality.
Peer-Reviewed articles and books are the most trusted types of published research because of the verification process they go through before being published. But not all published research goes through this process. You may also come across articles from trade or popular journals.
A Peer-Reviewed Article:
A Trade Article:
A Popular Article:
It's easy to find peer-reviewed articles when searching online databases through the library. Some databases include articles that are not peer-reviewed, but they all include tools to limit your search results.
Using Subject Databases
For more detailed information on searching library databases see our Using the Library guide.