There are different methods to determine which articles submitted to a journal are actually published in that journal. Two of the main methods include editorial decision and peer review. If peer review is the journal's practice, then the editor will send copies of the submitted manuscript to other experts in that field for review. The reviewers will comment on the value of the content for publication, make suggestions for changes, and make recommendations regarding publication (yes, no, with selected changes). In the academic world, this process of peer review is highly regarded. Peer-reviewed journals are also called refereed.
How do you find out if a journal is peer-reviewed or refereed? Here are three possible methods.
Check Ulrich's Periodicals Directory: this source provides information about whether a specific journal is refereed, as well as the publisher, cost, and frequency of a journal. It does not provide any information about the articles published in a journal. Search for the title of a journal, then look for the icon that designates refereed titles.
Check the journal's guidelines for article submission. Some journals' guidelines state clearly that the journal uses a peer-review process. In others, the guidelines say to send three or more copies of the manuscript, which is an indication that the peer-review process is used.
Some indexes allow you to "filter" the results by whether the journal is refereed. The article databases listed in this subject guide do not have this filter. See below for one that does.
If you are looking for a few articles, and would like to filter the search results to return only those from peer-reviewed journals, try out Academic Search Premier. This article database is multidisciplinary and so does cover some computer science journals as well as others such as biology, sociology and music. In this database, below the search box is a section called "search options"; check the box in front of scholarly (peer reviewed) journals. The results of your topic search will be limited to journals that have been identified as peer reviewed.