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HN&F 610: Nutrition and Fitness: Peer-Reviewed Journals

A guide designed for graduate students enrolled in HN&F 610.

What You Need to Know about Peer-Reviewed Journals




What is a Peer-Reviewed Journal?    

 v  A peer-reviewed journal is one that sends articles submitted by authors to a group of experts in the field for review before publication.  The reviewers recommend whether the submitted article be published, revised, or rejected. The review process helps to ensure that research published in the journal is of high quality and contributes new information to the field.


Characteristics of Peer-Reviewed Journals:                                   

v  Their purpose is to share the results of original research with the rest of the scholarly world.

 v  Appearance-wise, they usually have a plain cover with lengthy and in-depth articles that contain charts, graphs, and tables.  There is minimal use of photographs and color.  Any advertising is geared towards the subject discipline.

 v  Articles are written by researchers, scientists or scholars in the field.

 v  Authors cite their sources in footnotes or bibliographies, which are often extensive.

 v  The journal uses the technical terminology appropriate to the discipline and assumes that the reader will have a similar scholarly background.

 v  The publisher is typically either a professional organization, university, research institute, or a scholarly press.


Ways to Determine if a Particular Journal is Peer-Reviewed

 v  If you have questions about whether a particular journal is peer-reviewed, you can try checking it in the Serials Directory database.


o   From the WVU Libraries Databases list at ,

select the link for the Serials Directory.


  • Type the name of the journal in the Search box and click on the Search button.


  • You will obtain a results list of journal titles that closely match your search terms.  Click on the hyperlink for the appropriate journal.


  • Notice that near the top of the record, there is a Publication Type category. If it indicates that the journal is an academic/scholarly publication, the journal is most likely peer-reviewed. 


v  Some databases will allow you to limit a search to articles in peer-reviewed (scholarly) journals.  In the Health Sciences, the following EBSCOhost databases will allow you to do this:


o   Academic Search Complete

o   Alt HealthWatch

o   CINAHL with Full Text

o   Health Source: Consumer and Nursing/Academic Edition

o   PsycINFO

 o   SPORTDiscus with Full Text


v  Be sure to put a checkmark by the databases in EBSCOhost that you want to search.


v  Enter your search terms in the search box and be sure the Peer Reviewed box is checked.   In some of the databases, you will see this as Scholarly (Peer Reviewed) Journals.  Click on the Search button.  All of your results should be in peer-reviewed journals.