Here's the conversation I like to imagine between these two guys. "Hey how do you tell whether or not an article comes from a refereed, peer-review journal." (Ref 1) "Uh...Ulrichs?" (Ref 2).
This very question has been coming to me a lot recently since one of the big freshman seminars I work with requires that for the big research project of the semester that the centerpiece be a peer-reviewed scholarly journal article.
The students seem to have a pretty firm understanding of whether the article that they are looking it presents a scholarly experiment, but when it comes to whether it's peer-reviewed I'm sensing more uncertainty (this "sense" comes directly from my email inbox).
The professor for the class asked me come up with a quick email or handout that he could forward on to students and this is what I came up with:
Here are some ways to determine whether the article that
you've found has been peer reviewed.
1. Google the name of the journal and find the journal's web page. On the "about us" page it will sometimes say "peer-reviewed" or you can look at the "information for authors" that will usually detail what process a manuscript must go through to be published. If it mentions a review process or sending to reviewers you're set.
2. Check it in Ullrich's (http://www.lib.umn.edu/get/
Most of the journal articles that recount a research experiment in Engineering Village should probably be peer-reviewed. It is important to note that some peer-reviewed journals also include letters and editorials that are not peer-reviewed. So make sure the articles are experimental research articles (detailing an experiment's methodology and findings) and not one of these other types of article.
Does anyone else out there in the LIbraries have another method that they teach? I'd like to make something more polished and formal to share with students next time and would like to provide students with the best methods possible--so if you have a way of teaching this information I'd be interested to hear it!
Images from Jeffrey Simms Photography via Flickr. CC