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PRST 3995: Interdisciplinary Research and Project Solving: Finding Non Peer Reviewed Sources

Non Peer Reviewed Sources

Broadly speaking, a non peer reviewed source is anything that is NOT a peer reviewed journal article. A government publication, book or book chapter, a newspaper or magazine article, a website or blog post, a documentary film, or a document published by a government agency are all examples of non-peer reviewed sources. When submitting assignments, be sure to consult your course materials and professor for specific guidelines about acceptable source types.

One other non-peer reviewed source is an article from a trade journal. Trade journals, also called trade publications, trade magazines or professional magazines, are magazines or newspapers whose target audience is people who work in a particular profession or industry. Articles in these publications are often short and the publications may contain advertisements. Examples of trade publications include Chronicle of Higher Education, Education Week, Ad Week, etc. JEWL Search and some other databases offer a source type limit for trade publications.

The descriptions and suggestions on this page are not prescribed rules--you should always evaluate an information source for relevance, authority and appropriateness for your situation. 

The databases and other resources below include non-peer reviewed sources, as does JEWL Search. You may also wish to search the internet for freely-available non peer reviewed sources. 

Internet Search

One strategy for locating non-peer reviewed sources is to search the internet. Government sponsored publications or research publications from advocacy organizations can be good source. You can limit results in a Google search to a specific domain such as .org or .gov. Here's the format for that search:

search term(s)  OR search terms(s)

See these search results for an example of this technique.

Magazine and Trade Publication Articles

These interdisciplinary databases provide access to articles from general and professional magazines, scholarly journals and some newspapers.

Scholarly vs. Popular Periodicals

Scholarly Articles: Written by and for an expert audience. Also frequently called "peer-reviewed" publications. 

Popular Articles: Written by journalists for a general readership.

Both can be valuable, depending on your need.

More information about scholarly and popular sources

Current News Databases (Fulltext)