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Omni Search Tips

Search strategies and new tool features

Is your source truly peer-reviewed?

Peer-reviewed Journals is one of the Availability options in Omni. The resources collated under this heading are drawn from full-text databases, indexes, and abstracts where there is no set peer review definition. Consequently, the resources listed under this filter may not be 100% accurate. Peer review or refereeing is the process of evaluating an author's work by experts in the field. The process is blind meaning that the author and reviewers are not known to one another. The feedback returned to the author includes suggestions for revisions or an outright rejection.

When in doubt as to whether your source is from a peer-reviewed academic source, review the following:

  1. Source Title
    ​Common words in the source title of a peer-reviewed journal include: journal, studies, review, annual, quarterly, and university name or academic society. e.g.Canadian Historical Review; Queen’s Quarterly; Canadian Medical Association Journal
  2. Source Website 

    How to locate a description of the peer-review process in a specific journal.The editorial policy for the source outlining its peer review process. This may appear under instructions to the author or as a description of the editorial process. If no process is listed, there isn't one. e.g. Journal fo Gender Studies. Look for the author instructions and then a description of the peer review process. 

  3. Article Format
    Key features that identify peer-reviewed works include:

    Please see the Evaluating Sources checklist for examples.

    • author qualifications such as PhD
    • university or institutional affiliation
    • use of data and graphs
    •  extensive references
  4. Ulrich's Periodicals Directory 
    How to use Ulrich's to find out whether a journal is refereed/peer reviewed and in which database the journal is indexed.
    When in doubt as to whether your source is from a peer-reviewed academic source, consult Ulrich's Periodicals Directory to find out more about the publication.

Ulrich's provides international publisher information for more than 300,000 periodicals, including whether they are peer-reviewed or refereed. It also identifies the indexes and databases in which a title is searchable under the tab "Abstracting & Indexing."

Ulrich's includes academic and scholarly journals, open access publications, peer-reviewed titles, popular magazines, newspapers, and newsletters from around the world. It covers all subjects and has an emphasis on English-language publications.