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Internet research for assignments

This guide discusses when it is appropriate to use the internet for an assignment or research, and provides some tips for making the most out of your internet searches.

Peer review

What does 'peer review' mean?

Peer review is a process that ensures a high-quality of writing and maintains professional standards. 

A peer reviewed journal article is not published until it has been reviewed by a panel of other academics or professionals in the field. A simplified version of the process looks like this: 

Peer Review workflow diagram

  1. Author submits article
  2. Editor forwards article to reviewers
  3. Reviewers check for accuracy
  4. Author has opportunity to make changes before publication.

The review and revise steps may be repeated several times.



The peer review process ensures published articles are reliable and authoritative sources of information. This is why your lecturers will often request that you use peer-reviewed material.

Why can't I find peer-reviewed material on the web?

LockA lot of peer-reviewed content is behind pay-walls, meaning access is not freely available through a Google search.
The library has subscriptions to thousands of peer reviewed journals. Follow the steps below to find peer reviewed content through Library SearchEBSCO and ProQuest.

Check out the Information tools & apps page for tools that can help you access the full-text of library resources from the web.

How do I find peer-reviewed journal articles?

Most online databases and academic search engines have a simple check box or filter that you select to ensure the material your retrieve is peer reviewed. 

ExclamationScholarly does not mean the same thing as peer reviewed. Scholarly articles have been written by scholars, but have not been through the formal peer review process outlined here. 
Illustration - peer review filter in Library Search

Library Search

You will find the peer review filter in Library Search to the right of the screen towards the top of the facets column. The number shows you how many of your search results are peer-reviewed.

Illustration - peer review filter in Ebsco


In Ebsco the peer review filter is on the left side of the page.

Illustration - peer review in Proquest


In Proquest the check box is underneath the search bar. You can select it before or after you search.