Some scholarly journals require articles to be approved by a peer group of scholars and academics in the discipline. For example, biologists would review, or referee, articles written by biologists. These journals are called peer reviewed, or refereed, journals.
Not every article in a peer-reviewed journal is a peer-reviewed article. For example, an editor, rather than a group of peers, may make decisions about letters to the editor, book reviews, and news, and other types of non-research articles.
If you are unsure if an article is peer-reviewed, look for the words: submitted [date]; accepted [date], as shown in the illustration further down on this page.
Some articles in scholarly research journals report the first results of original research. These articles are called primary research articles.
Articles in scholarly journals may also be called research journals, peer reviewed journals, or refereed journals. These types of articles share many common features, including:
Research articles in many disciplines are organized into standard sections. Although these sections may vary by discipline, common sections include:
It's not hard to spot these sections; just look for bold headings in the article, as shown in these illustrations: