What's a peer review?
You've probably heard the term "peer reviewed" in reference to academic journal articles. The peer review is exactly what it sounds like: it's a review of a new research article by the author's (or authors') peers, i.e. fellow experts in a particular field.
Finding peer reviewed articles
There are a few different ways to find out if a journal is peer reviewed:
1. You can go directly to the journal's website and read the About the Journal information. For example:
Scientific American - About Scientific American - no statement of peer review
2. You can go to the database titled Ulrich's which is a listing of of over 300,000 periodicals which include both popular and peer-reviewed titles.
See their entries for Science and Scientific American - Science has a Refereed line while Scientific American does not.
The two major database to which Yale subscribes that contain peer-reviewed literature are:
A literature review takes a research question and provides a critical assessment of the body of literature already produced on that subject. Within a scientific research article, there can be a section in the introduction of the paper which is the review of past literature where you give YOUR interpretation of the research subject's development. Here the literature review is part of a primary research publication (e.g., ). Alternately, when an in-depth and extensive assessment of the entire body of literature on a subject is performed and written as a "state of the art" review of the current status of the subject, and is written as a separate paper, the literature review is a secondary publication (e.g., articles in Annual Review of Ecology, Evolution, and Systematics, or article).
The following articles and videos will give you advice on writing your own literature review.