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Nursing 204: Types of Articles

What is Peer Reviewed?

Scholarly or peer-reviewed journals include articles that have been written by specialists in the field and reviewed by specialists before they are accepted for publication.

Popular magazines such as Time or newspapers such as The New York Times have valid information but are NOT peer-reviewed.

You can limit your search to a peer-reviewed article when you are using a Library database such as  Health Source Nursing or CINAHL.

If you are not sure if an article is peer-reviewed, limit your search to peer-reviewed only.


Evidence Based Practice Articles

If you need peer reviewed articles that reflect evidence-based practice, limit your search in CINAHL to both conditions. 

Magazines, Journals and Newspapers

There are three basic types of periodicals. Each can be used for research. Your professor may specify the type of source required. What are the differences?

Popular Magazines

 Articles in popular magazines are written by journalists, reporters or staff on the magazine.  Some magazine articles have no listed author. These articles are designed for the general public and have glossy pages with photographs and advertising. They may include information from more scholarly studies. Magazines have editors and fact checkers who make sure the material included is reliable and accurate.  Some useful magazines for current topics include Time, Newsweek, US News & World Report and The Nation. Magazines for business include Forbes, INC,  and Fortune. Other popular magazines include Sports Illustrated, Vogue, Latina, Essence and Psychology Today. Magazine articles are not peer-reviewed.


Articles in newspapers are written by journalists, reporters, and freelance staffers. Often, no author is listed. The byline indicates the name of the author. They generally focus on breaking events, but may also be stories or series that expose particular problems in society. Articles are generally short and less detailed than those in a magazine or scholarly journal. High-quality newspapers use editors and fact checkers to authenticate the accuracy of a story before it is published. National newspapers include The New York Times, The Washington Post, The L.A. Times and The Wall Street Journal.  Local newspapers include Newsday, Times Union (Albany) and The Daily Record (Rochester). Never use a supermarket tabloid for research. Newspapers are not peer-reviewed.

  Scholarly Journals

Articles in scholarly journals are written by experts in their fields.  Often the articles report on studies or analysis and include charts, data or specific criticism of a literary work.  Scholarly journals are often called "peer-reviewed" because the articles must go through an approval process by other scholars before they are published. The articles are generally longer, more academic and include a list of sources at the end.  Scholarly journals generally do not have glossy pages, photographs or advertising. Each field has its own set of journals or "literature" as they are sometimes called. Examples include Harvard Business Review, The Journal of the American Medical Association, Studies in Short Fiction and Journal of Psychology.