25 Peer-Reviewed and Scholarly Journal Articles Databases

25 Peer-Reviewed and Scholarly Journal Articles Databases

Your professor has emphasized the significance of using peer-reviewed or scholarly sources. However, discovering suitable Peer-Reviewed and Scholarly Journal Articles Databases can be a challenging and frustrating task. It’s not uncommon for students to end up with sources that their instructor rejects. While you can certainly utilize newspaper articles, magazines, and other similar sources, it is advisable to seek out and employ peer-reviewed or scholarly journal articles. This article will explore topics including what peer-reviewed or scholarly journal articles are, and the reasons for their use. You will gain an understanding of where you can access government documents, reports, whitepapers, books, and peer-reviewed journal articles to enhance your research writing. Additionally, you will receive a compilation of 25 databases containing peer-reviewed journals. However, the content goes beyond this list. So, stay engaged with us.

Here’s What You Will Gain from Reading This Article on Peer-Reviewed and Scholarly Journal Articles Databases:

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– Access to 25 databases containing numerous peer-reviewed and scholarly sources to bolster your research writing.
– Key information highlighted for easy retrieval.
– Comprehensive sections providing valuable insights to transition from an ordinary academic writer to an exceptional one.
– Guidance on identifying scholarly and peer-reviewed journals and articles with ease.
– Tips to avoid unreliable sources and those with questionable origins.
– Confidence in consistently utilizing reliable sources.


First Things First: Understanding Peer-Review

As per Editage Insights, the term “peer-review” refers to the evaluation of academic or scientific work by “experts from a particular field.”

Are Peer-Reviewed Journal Articles and Scholarly Journal Articles the Same?

Occasionally, they are, and at other times, they are not. However, this answer might not be as satisfying as you’d hope. But worry not, as we’ll clarify shortly. Scholarly journals aren’t always peer-reviewed, yet they remain valuable sources. Nevertheless, you can find scholarly journals that have undergone rigorous peer-review. So, what distinguishes a scholarly journal article from a peer-reviewed one? The following sections on Peer-Reviewed and Scholarly Journal Articles Databases will elucidate this.

What Constitutes a Peer-Reviewed Journal?

Also referred to as refereed journals, peer-reviewed journals undergo an extensive and meticulous review process before publication. Who undertakes this review? It’s other scholars who work within the same specialty or field as the author of the work. The term “peer-reviewed” stems from the fact that the author’s peers conduct this assessment. Peer-reviewed journal articles are reputable sources that offer substantial value and credibility. They embody solid scholarly work. Hence, it is strongly recommended to use peer-reviewed sources.

What Defines a Scholarly Article?

As mentioned earlier, peer-reviewed journal articles are a subset of scholarly sources. Scholarly journals, however, may not always be peer-reviewed. Some journals undergo peer-review, while others do not. The distinction that makes scholarly articles valuable is that they communicate findings from original research and experimentation. These articles include comprehensive citations, often in the form of footnotes, end-notes, or bibliographies. Experts in a specific discipline compose these articles, intended primarily for other experts in the same field. Although scholarly articles do not always undergo peer-review, they are approved by an editorial board before publication. Ultimately, both journal articles and scholarly articles are scrutinized by experts. They both represent credible sources you can confidently rely on while constructing arguments for your work.

Why is Peer-Review of Essence?

The process of peer-review can be arduous, yet it guarantees that only the highest-quality material gets published. But why is this process important? Understanding the mechanics of peer-review elucidates its significance.

When an author submits an article to a journal, it undergoes evaluation by the editor. The editor then assigns the work to a handful of carefully chosen peers. These peers are experts who have garnered respect and recognition within the author’s field. These experts meticulously review the work and provide thorough feedback. They submit their feedback along with a decision aligned with the quality of the work.

Feedback from Reviewers

Reviewers may arrive at one of three decisions: rejecting the work, accepting it with substantial revisions, or accepting it without revisions. Rarely is an article accepted without any revisions. On occasion, reviewers might suggest that the author incorporate additional pertinent studies that might have been overlooked. They could also point out errors in the work and recommend ways to address them. The journal’s editor also reviews the article and may add comments.

Peer-review serves not only to assess research quality but also to refine the work and enhance the peer-reviewed and scholarly Journal Articles Databases. This clarifies why your professor insists on using peer-reviewed or scholarly journal articles exclusively.

However, Peer-Review Has Certain Limitations

Authors vary in terms of training, experience, and quality. Similarly, peer-reviewed journals vary in multiple aspects. Lesser-known, smaller journals might struggle to find the best experts in the field to review their submissions. Consequently, such journals might end up engaging reviewers who lack recognition. Critics delight in discrediting the sources you employ. The credibility of the source you use matters: where it was published and who reviewed it. Thus, selecting respected and reputable journals is paramount.

Yet, even respected journals are managed by humans who can make errors. A time-pressed, renowned reviewer might find a work appealing and accept it with minimal revisions. Such a cursory assessment might overlook subtle mistakes. Moreover, reviewers might not meticulously scrutinize every reference or consider every fact or statistic.

Furthermore, peer-reviewers are susceptible to bias at times. They might hold a certain bias against studies that contradict their research. Reviewers with such bias would likely decline work directly opposing their published research. Authors can take action if they suspect bias from a specific reviewer. They might request the journal not to assign that person as the reviewer for their work. However, such a request could lead the editor to appoint the biased reviewer in question. The editor might interpret the request as an attempt to evade legitimate criticism.

Additionally, conflicts of interest can undermine a journal’s credibility. For instance, a journal dedicated to alternative medicine might be more inclined to accept work that supports alternative medicine. Similarly, journals that aim to promote certain products or ideas might readily approve specific articles while rejecting others. Such journals could even seek out reviewers who hold favorable views about the alternative medicine in question. These reviewers might then reject articles that could contribute significant value to the scientific community, consequently restricting the peer-reviewed and scholarly Journal Articles Databases.

Despite these limitations, peer-review remains effective. While peer-review is far from infallible, it is substantially better than a lack of quality control. Nonetheless, this process does not provide an ironclad guarantee of articles being entirely error-free.

Identifying Peer-Reviewed Journals Made Simple

Here’s an IMPORTANT point to remember: not every journal is peer-reviewed. An article published in a non-peer-reviewed journal cannot be deemed a peer-reviewed source. However, not all content within a peer-reviewed journal is considered peer-reviewed material. For example, letters to the editor, editorials, and book reviews are not articles and do not undergo peer-review. It’s imperative to distinguish peer-reviewed journals and to avoid other content as much as possible. The good news is that several peer-reviewed and scholarly Journal Articles Databases allow you to refine your search for peer-reviewed sources. Here’s how to easily recognize peer-reviewed journals:

Instruct Your Database to Return Only Peer-Reviewed Search Results

One effective method to ensure your results include peer

-reviewed journal articles is to input the correct search command. Some databases enable you to focus your search on peer-reviewed sources. ERIC is an example of such a database (more on ERIC later). You’ll also find several other databases on our list of 25 databases that host peer-reviewed journals. For some databases, you may need to conduct an “advanced” or “expert” search to locate peer-reviewed journals. Unfortunately, numerous databases do not offer the option to restrict your search to specific source types.

Use Ulrichsweb.com

Accessing Ulrichsweb requires your institution to be a subscriber. Upon gaining access, you can determine whether a journal is peer-reviewed. Moreover, you can access thousands of FREE sources through this platform. Input the exact title of each source. Enter the title exactly as it appears—no typos. This database encompasses approximately 300,000 journals. However, there is no guarantee that your desired source will be listed. If the journal in question appears in the results, check its peer-reviewed status. How can you determine whether a journal is peer-reviewed? A peer-reviewed journal will display a specific symbol adjacent to its title. Here’s the symbol: √.

If Ulrichsweb.com does not provide information about your desired journal, don’t worry. This is not the sole method to determine whether your source is peer-reviewed. The approach outlined below will assist you in identifying peer-reviewed journals easily.

Inspect Individual Journals and Journal Articles to Determine their Peer-Reviewed Status

This method involves examining each journal or journal article to establish whether it has undergone peer-review. However, there’s a minor concern with this approach. Determining whether an online-published journal has been peer-reviewed can be challenging. Here’s how to apply this method:

Step 1: Locate the journal online or within the library. Focus on the most recent issues from the year.

Step 2: Locate the publication’s masthead. Typically situated at the front or back of the publication, the masthead contains valuable information for determining whether a source or journal has undergone peer-review. For each journal, you’ll find critical details, including the journal’s editorial team and the publisher’s name. Additionally, you may learn who authors the journal’s articles, where they are published, and when they were published. Refer to the screenshot below:

25 Peer-reviewed and Scholarly Journal Articles Databases

1. EBSCOhost

EBSCO Industries Inc. operates multiple divisions, and one of them is EBSCOhost. Over 70 years, EBSCOhost has collaborated with libraries worldwide to offer valuable research support through quality content. It caters to various markets like public libraries, law, medical, corporate, and government sectors. EBSCOhost presents an online research service housing 375 full-text databases—a database of databases. Inside, you’ll discover a wealth of over 90,000 audiobooks and more than 1,000,000 e-books from numerous publishers.

Some databases on EBSCO are provided by content vendors, including well-known ones like Econlit and MEDLINE. However, EBSCO also curates its own databases, such as Academic Search, Criminal Justice Abstracts, Clinic Reference Systems, and Education Abstracts, among others.

EBSCO Industries Inc. also manages EDS (EBSCO Discovery Service), facilitating easy magazine and journal searches. If you’re a medical or nursing student, EBSCO is an invaluable resource, offering high-quality journal articles like those from the Journal of Clinical Epidemiology. It’s no surprise that numerous U.S. schools are EBSCO subscribers.


CINAHL serves as a comprehensive database for nursing and medicine. It delivers up-to-date, high-quality literature to aid nursing and allied health professionals in conducting robust research. Accessible through EBSCOhost, CINAHL includes a helpful tool, CINAHL Complete. This tool provides access to evidence-based care sheets and valuable full-text journals dating back to 1937. The database also enables searching for cited references from over 1,500 journals. Its relevance extends to various fields, including general health, medicine, nutrition, and nursing.

3. PubMed/HubMed

HubMed simplifies accessing the PubMed database by allowing users to perform real-time searches. Using the field codes that support searches on HubMed returns the same results as PubMed. An essential tip is to sort results by “date” instead of “relevance” for more useful outcomes. These sorting options are readily available in a dropdown menu beneath the search box.

HubMed is accessible to nearly anyone connected to the internet, making it an excellent resource for non-library-affiliated users. This database provides free access to numerous high-quality, full-text peer-reviewed journal articles, making it particularly valuable for those seeking biomedical sources.


Since 1946, Ovid MEDLINE has been a reliable research companion. With almost 6,000 journals dedicated to biomedicine and life sciences, it offers a diverse range of information. Around 80 percent of its articles are in English, but sources are available in up to 60 languages. Beyond this linguistic diversity, Ovid MEDLINE provides over 23 million recent author abstracts and bibliographic citations. The platform, Ovid, offers a noteworthy feature—over 4,500 e-publications weekly before they appear in print. Additionally, the database includes 1,000+ full-text Open Access journals. Whether you’re exploring AIDS, cancer, bioethics, toxicology, or complementary medicine, Ovid MEDLINE has you covered with its daily updates.

5. BIOSIS Previews Via Ovid

Published by Clarivate Analytics (UK) Limited, BIOSIS Previews offers material dating back to 1926. This database centers on life sciences disciplines, serving as a goldmine for topics like zoology, ecology, botany, biomedicine, biochemistry, and biotechnology.

BIOSIS is updated weekly and adds a staggering 500,000 new records annually. With over 5,000 journals and non-journal literature, BIOSIS boasts access to over 18,000,000 records accumulated since 1926. This resource is a fantastic starting point for understanding emerging trends in your field. Just like MEDLINE, BIOSIS Previews operates on the Ovid platform.

6. The Cochrane Library

Owned by Cochrane.org and published by Wiley, The Cochrane Library offers a versatile collection of databases catering to diverse research needs in healthcare-related fields. Among these databases are CCAs, CENTRAL, and CDSR. CCAs refer to Cochrane Clinical Answers, CENTRAL stands for Cochrane Central Register of Controlled Trials, and CDSR is the Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews. CDSR is updated throughout the month and houses peer-reviewed systematic reviews.

Central, published monthly, contains an abundance of reports on randomized controlled trials and quasi-randomized controlled trials. While you can access abstracts of journal articles in CDSR, full-text sources might not be available. Cochrane Clinical Answers are tailored for practicing healthcare professionals, offering clinical questions, succinct answers, and relevant Cochrane review data.

The Cochrane Library simplifies source searches by allowing easy filtering by publication year and issue number. For nursing, medicine students, and practicing nurses, CCAs offer valuable insights.

7. AMED: The Allied and Complementary Medicine Database

AMED proves invaluable for researching complementary or alternative medicine topics. Published by the British Library, it covers a wide range, from palliative care to acupuncture. While basic bibliographic information is available for all records, sources published after 1995 typically include author abstracts. Full-text access usually requires payment. With over 600 journals, AMED primarily hosts scholarly sources rather than peer-reviewed ones. Access is facilitated through platforms like EBSCOhost or OVID.

8. Google Scholar

Google Scholar serves as the starting point for many researchers and students seeking high-quality sources. Established in 2004, it hosts an impressive array of peer-reviewed articles, books, dissertations, theses, abstracts, technical reports, patents, and case laws. It has earned the distinction of being the world’s largest academic search engine.

As of January 2018, Google Scholar contained around 390 million sources, with 90 percent of its articles in English. Access to some articles is free, indicated by “Free Access” near the article’s title. Google Scholar operates similarly to other subscription-based tools, allowing access to both free and paid content.

However, it’s essential to exercise caution, as Google Scholar doesn’t always rigorously vet the journals it includes. It’s advisable to prioritize sources cited by a significant number of people seeking reliable information.


Operated by the National Library of Medicine (NLM), MEDLINE supports research across various healthcare fields. Whether you’re studying medicine, nursing, dentistry, veterinary medicine, or preclinical sciences, MEDLINE has your needs covered. With nearly 4,000 biomedical journals published worldwide, it offers a rich collection. About 76 percent of its 9 million records have author abstracts in English. Since June 26, 1997, students and researchers have enjoyed free access to content on MEDLINE.

10. JSTOR: Journal Storage

JSTOR collaborates with the global academic community to advance research and teaching. Established in 1994, JSTOR provides access to over 10 million academic journal articles, 50,000 books, and approximately 2 million primary source documents spanning 75 disciplines. This impressive offering makes JSTOR an incredibly useful online research tool. Working alongside ITHAKA, a nonprofit dedicated to preserving knowledge through digital technologies, JSTOR supports various disciplines in the social sciences, humanities, and science.

JSTOR offers a remarkable benefit—articles published before 1923 in the U.S. and before 1870 in other locations are freely accessible to all. Other sources are available at affordable rates, with some providing free access. This database’s extensive materials cater to research and teaching needs across multiple fields.

11. Informit A+ Education

Tailored for education research, Informit A+ Education offers over 220,000 records from around 165 resources. This database serves as a valuable support tool for academic writing and teaching in the education field. Focusing solely on education, it covers sub-fields such as early childhood education, adult education, primary education, education theory and practice, and secondary education. Note that sources provided are not older than 1978. If you’re an education student attending an Australian university, Informit A+ Education is a prime choice. Access to this resource is subscription-based.

12. ERIC: Education Resources Information Center

ERIC, which stands for Education Resources Information Center, provides two main categories of journals. The first category includes comprehensively indexed journals, with about 80 percent featuring education-related research. These articles offer detailed bibliographic information. The second category is selectively indexed journals, with 50–79 percent focusing on education. ERIC manually selects journal articles meeting its criteria, offering a selection policy for guidance. The search box allows filtering for full-text articles and peer-reviewed sources. For government documents, technical reports, and whitepapers, ERIC serves as an excellent repository.

13. ProQuest education journals

ProQuest is a valuable database designed to support researchers and academic writers in education. With over 1,000 full-text education-focused journals, alongside 18,000 dissertations and 450,000 ebooks, ProQuest offers a wealth of resources. The database hosts a staggering six billion digital pages, spanning up to 600 years. While covering a diverse array of content, from Plato’s “The Republic” to Aristotle’s “Nicomachean Ethics,” ProQuest predominantly focuses on research concerning education theory and practice. Its topics encompass primary, secondary, adult, and higher education, making it a versatile asset for educators and researchers.

14. PsycINFO

PsycINFO caters to the research needs of psychologists, academics, students, and scientists in the psychology field. As a digital repository of peer-reviewed research, it’s a trusted resource for the behavioral and social sciences. Produced by the American Psychological Association, PsycINFO boasts (4,587, 214 records) a substantial record count, providing a wealth of valuable information. It’s available through trusted providers like OVID Technologies, ProQuest, and EBSCO, accessible through paid subscriptions for both individuals and institutions.

15. Medscape

Medscape stands as an excellent source for news, scholarly perspectives, and articles related to drugs and diseases. With a focus on delivering timely and authoritative content, it’s a valuable resource for healthcare professionals seeking evidence-based information. Medscape’s content is authored by subject experts—physicians and PhDs—ensuring credibility and reliability. Access to this platform is free; users simply need to sign up to gain instant access to a wealth of quality articles authored by professionals in the field.

16. Elsevier

Elsevier stands as a prominent scholarly publisher and data analytics provider, ranking among the largest globally. This expansive database offers access to nearly 49,000 books, around 3,000 journals, and a host of renowned reference works. Presently, Elsevier is providing substantial discounts (50%) for book purchases. The database allows organized access to journals and books by subject; however, most sources on Elsevier require dealing with paywalls before access.

Elsevier’s reputation as a high-quality publisher led to the European Commission’s decision to partner with them to enhance accessibility of scientific publications in Europe. The European Commission aims for widespread availability of scientific research for free in Europe by 2020. Critics, however, express concerns about Elsevier’s potential bias due to its promotion of products like Scopus, Mendeley, and Plum Analytics, creating challenges in maintaining neutrality while publishing. Key concerns include rising research material prices and perceived anti-Open Science practices. Moreover, its sheer size is a point of contention. It’s up to you to decide whether these issues impact your decision to use Elsevier as a source.

17. Directory of Open Access Journals (DOAJ)

DOAJ is a valuable resource offering a comprehensive list of open access journals. Open access journals allow free access to research. The journals found on DOAJ are of high quality, peer-reviewed, and scholarly. DOAJ operates on a funding model that ensures institutions and individuals can access top-quality research at no cost. Journals joining DOAJ must provide users with complete rights to freely use their publications, enabling downloading, copying, reading, printing, distribution, or linking to full-text articles. At the time of this writing, DOAJ hosts 12,440 journals and 3,645,571 articles published across 129 countries.

It’s essential to note that DOAJ maintains quality standards by removing journals with reliability issues, demonstrating its commitment to working with reputable sources. As a student or academic writer, DOAJ is a resource you shouldn’t overlook.

18. Social Science Research Network

Social Science Research Network is a platform offering papers and articles by social science academics and researchers. While a majority of the content is freely accessible, some articles are behind paywalls and require membership for access. Fortunately, registration is quick and free. As of January 9, 2019, SSRN hosted 839,364 research papers across 30 disciplines, contributed by 418,693 academics and researchers. Whether your focus lies in social sciences, health sciences, life sciences, physical sciences, or humanities, SSRN proves to be a valuable resource.


Managed by the British Library, ETHOS is a treasure trove for doctoral students, housing thousands of PhD theses. As of a certain point, ETHOS contained around 500,000 doctoral theses, with some available for instant download. The database offers the option to narrow searches to items available for immediate download, and even allows requests for scanned copies of theses. ETHOS further facilitates focused searches by recency, author, or title. This database is particularly appealing for those pursuing doctoral studies.

20. dblp Computer Science Bibliography

For those immersed in computer science or related fields, dblp is a valuable ally. Offering a diverse range of content, the database provides books, theses, and journal articles. About 52 percent of sources are conference and workshop papers, with an additional 39 percent being journal articles. The remaining content includes informal publications, theses, books, and reference works. The repository boasts over 4,000,000 computer science publications authored by more than 2,000,000 individuals. While some articles are freely accessible, others are behind paywalls, although searches can be limited to full-text articles.

21. BioMed Central

BioMed Central features research findings from peer-reviewed journals in various fields, including medicine, engineering, science, and technology. It serves as a valuable resource for clinical medicine, health, biology, and even mathematics assignments. With over 300 peer-reviewed journals, BioMed Central provides an extensive repository. Notably, access is free, making it an excellent asset for STEM students.

22. OpenDOAR

OpenDOAR presents a unique advantage—all content is freely available without requiring user sign-ups. Moreover, OpenDOAR excludes journals or websites that necessitate user sign-ups, even for free content. This means you can effortlessly access a wealth of high-quality, freely accessible journal articles. OpenDOAR exclusively lists print journals, ensuring that every source featured is available in print as well. It’s a powerful resource for accessing well-researched papers.

23. Public Library of Science Journals (PLOS Journals)

PLOS, a not-for-profit publisher and advocacy organization, offers a diverse range of research covering fields such as medicine, genetics, pathogens, tropical diseases, biology, and computational biology. PLOS stands out due to its association with some of the world’s foremost scientists, including 64 Nobel Laureates who have published their research through this database. Over 215,000 peer-reviewed articles are accessible for free, emphasizing PLOS’ commitment to advancing research accessibility.

24. Paperity

Paperity focuses on providing access to recent discoveries without encountering paywalls. This repository gathers Open Access papers and journals from various disciplines, catering to a broad range of researchers and students. While some content may be in languages other than English, the majority is in English. The database currently hosts 6,608 journals and 2,054,192 papers.

25. CORE: Find Sources for Pretty Much all Disciplines

CORE stands as a comprehensive repository encompassing millions of sources across a vast array of disciplines. This database grants you access to over 66,000,000 articles, completely free of charge. An impressive feature is that around 92 percent of these articles, roughly 60,000,000, are directly linked to full-text sources available on the original publishers’ websites. CORE hosts the remaining 8 percent, which equates to about 5,000,000 journal articles. This platform also offers efficient search options based on publication year, type, journal of publication, author, and language. It’s clear that CORE is a valuable site to frequent if you seek quality research accessible without any cost.

Where to Find Peer-reviewed Journal Articles, Books, Theses, Dissertations, Government Documents and More: Final Thoughts

By now, you’ve amassed a wealth of knowledge. You are now adept at identifying scholarly and peer-reviewed academic articles, including Peer-reviewed and Scholarly Journal Articles Databases. Armed with this insight, you can effortlessly select top-quality sources available through online libraries, physical libraries, and databases. Moving forward, you lack excuses for not achieving top grades. No discipline is too obscure to access high-quality sources. While some databases employ paywalls, we’ve introduced you to numerous places offering peer-reviewed sources entirely free. If you desire further guidance on enhancing your research writing experience, do not hesitate to reach out. We collaborate with researchers and academic writers, providing expertise that could mean the difference between an A and an F. Need assistance? You can find it HERE.

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