What does it mean to be peer reviewed?
Articles that appear in peer reviewed journals have been examined by professionals in the field before publication. For example, an article published in the Journal of Marriage and Family are reviewed by sociologists who focus on family research. They make sure that the methodology is sound and the results are significant before the article is actually published. In a scientific article the experts will review the experiment to see if the methods, analysis and conclusions make sense. Experts will also make recommendations on the wording the authors used.
What do peer reviewed articles look like?
Peer reviewed journal articles tend to be rather long, often over twenty pages. They also use quite a bit of jargon, or language associated with a professional field. Many peer reviewed articles are empirical, meaning that they discuss original research. Articles that discuss original research have the following format:
Where are peer reviewed articles found?
The easiest way to locate peer reviewed articles is by searching article databases. In most databases, there is an option to limit to peer reviewed articles only in the result list. PubMed does not have this option, however, so use the steps above to analyze your articles. Most journals in PubMed are peer reviewed journals; be careful though, not everything within them are peer reviewed!