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RN-BSN Library Guide

Use this Library Research Guide to help locate evidence-based resources including articles, information on research appraisal, statistics, evidence translation, clinical practice tools, informatics and professional resources.

What is a Peer Reviewed Journal?

Peer reviewed journals (also sometimes called refereed journals) include only articles that have gone through a process of feedback and iteration before publication. In short, this means that:

  1. The article was written by an expert or scholar in the field or on the topic.
  2. The article was reviewed by other experts or scholars in the field or on the topic who assess the article for accuracy and other indicators of scholarship before providing feedback to the author.
  3. The author made any necessary edits or changes to the article based on the feedback provided before the article was published.

Keep in mind that articles from peer reviewed journals are considered scholarly, but not all scholarly articles are from peer reviewed journals (in other words, just because an article was not published in a peer reviewed journal, doesn't automatically mean it isn't considered a scholarly source). For more information, check out these FAQs:

What are Scholarly Sources?

Scholarly sources are written by experts in a particular field that appeal to other scholars/experts/interested parties in that field. Another term for these types of sources can also be academic sources. They can include reports, articles analyzing other research or articles even doing their own research. For more information, check out these FAQs:

Watch the video below to learn how you can tell the difference between popular sources (like those you can find at the grocery store) and scholarly sources.

What About Library Resources?

In most cases, the books you get from the library and articles you find in the library's research databases are usually reliable and credible. These sources have usually gone through a traditional editorial process, which means that someone or some group has checked all the facts and arguments the author made and deemed them suitable for publishing. However, you still have to think about whether or not the book or article is current and relevant for your project--for example, libraries often subscribe to popular magazines like "People" and "Vogue" which are not scholarly sources. For more information, check out these FAQs: