Peer review is a process scholarly articles go through before they are published. Scholarly articles are sent to other experts in the field (peers) to ensure that they contain high-quality, original research important to the field. This is a measure of quality control other types of literature don't go through.
If you can't tell whether or not a journal is peer-reviewed, check Ulrichsweb.
Questions to ask:
Author: Who wrote this? What are their credentials and what is their area of expertise? Often a scholar's credentials or job affiliation is listed in the article or database or you can Google them. Click on their name in the database to see what else they've written and determine if they have expertise in that topic.
Journal: Is this journal peer-reviewed? Look on the journal web site to find out how the peer-review process works (for example, is it double-blind, meaning the authors and reviewers don't know each others' names? What are the credentials of the peer-reviewers?) What is the expertise of the editorial board members? Is this journal connected to a reputable university or professional organization?
Works Cited: One part of evaluating evidence is to review the Works Cited list to see what sources the author used. Are they peer-reviewed sources from reputable journals by experts in the field? Are they current enough? If applicable, did the author use primary sources that provide good evidence for the argument they are making?
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