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International Studies

This guide lists American University Library databases and print resources, and free Web sites that are of use to the study and research of International Studies.

How to tell whether a journal is peer reviewed?

If you are not sure whether a scholarly journal is peer reviewed or refereed, try these methods.

  • First look at the end of the article (pdf) for a list of citations (Reference List, Works Cited, or Bibliography). If there is none, then it is not a peer-reviewed article, even if it appears in a peer-reviewed journal. All peer-reviewed/refereed articles have a list of sources with complete citations.
  • Go to the website of the journal. The peer review, also known as referee, process is time and labor intensive; therefore, publishers will mention it if the title is peer reviewed. Note: Not all articles in a peer-reviewed journal are peer reviewed. Book reviews, editor's introduction, letters and commentaries, for example, are not peer reviewed. 
  • Use the database Ulrichsweb Global Serials Directory. This is a directory of journals, magazines and newspapers and indicates whether the title is refereed. Ulrichs is especially useful for titles that have ceased publication.
  • Some databases, such as those from EBSCO and ProQuest, as well as AU Library Search, have a check box that allows one to limit their search results to peer-reviewed items.