If you just search Google for information on your topic, you will likely not find appropriate peer-reviewed materials.
Instead, try these methods to efficiently search for peer-reviewed articles:
Scholarly, peer-reviewed journal articles are the most appropriate sources to use in academic papers and projects, and they will be the best sources for primary research.
A scholarly, peer-reviewed article is one that is published only after undergoing scrutiny by several scholars, called reviewers, in the author's discipline, e.g., chemistry, history, etc. The reviewers do not know the identity of the submitting author and the author, likewise, does not know the identity of the reviewers. This method insures that the results of the peer-review process are fair and impartial. The reviewers may choose to reject the article for publication or recommend that the article be published either with or without suggested changes.
Here are some ways you can figure out if an article is peer-reviewed:
A. The author is a scholar. Look for a byline or a blurb that identifies the college or university where the author teaches. If no information is given, Google the author to find out.
B. There are extensive footnotes, showing the author's familiarity with and reliance on scholarship in the field.
C. The article is addressed to a knowledgeable audience, rather than to the general public.
D. The journal is one that 'sounds scholarly', for example, the title begins with Journal of ...Find the journal's home page and figure out what society or institution publishes it. See who is on the editorial board of the journal—are they scholars in the field, people with academic positions?
Popular, non-peer-reviewed articles are ones that do not undergo academic scrutiny; these kinds of articles are generally found in news magazines like Time and National Geographic.
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