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REL 325 Jesus of Nazareth and the Synoptic Gospels

Professor Thomas Spring 17

Peer Reviewed and Scholarly Articles

The question of what a scholarly article and/or a peer reviewed article are often comes up when students are required to do research. Though there is definite overlap, it's good to understand the nuanced difference and at what point a scholarly article becomes peer reviewed.


A publication is regarded as scholarly:

  • If experts in a field, author it for other experts.
  • The publication is academic in focus as it reports original research (experimentation), research methodology or theory.
  • Generally, scholarly journals are intended for professional or academic researchers and provide detailed analysis on a single discipline or academic field.
  • The publication will likely be peer reviewed or refereed by external reviewers. The publisher is typically a professional association or an academic press.

Peer Reviewed (Refereed) Publications:

  • Prior to publication, articles submitted go through a rigorous review by other experts in the field.
  • Peer reviewed serials publish articles only if they have passed through the official editorial process. The peer review and evaluation system is intended to safeguard, maintain, and improve the quality of scholarly materials published in serials.

While not all scholarly journals go through the peer review process, it is usually safe to assume that a peer reviewed journal is also scholarly.

Remember, just because a journal is peer reviewed does not guarantee that all articles in it are included in the peer review process. Some article types, such as news items, editorials and book and article reviews, may not be peer reviewed.

The best way to determine if a particular journal is peer reviewed:

  • Examine the periodical in print or the online version. In the print version, look for instructions to the authors and determine if the submission process includes reviewers or referees. This information can usually be found on the inside front or back cover. In the online version check on the publisher’s Website.


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