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Serial Killers

This LibGuide was developed and maintained to support the university's CRIM 370 Serial Killers course.

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What is Peer Reviewed?

Peer Reviewed 
Also known as Refereed, the process in which an article submitted to a scholarly journal is reviewed by other researchers/professors in the same field as the author (his/her peers) in order to be approved for publication.  Peer reviewed journals are scholarly.
Many databases will provide users with the option to limit their searches to find only scholarly/peer reviewed articles. 

How Do I Know if an Article is Peer Reviewed?

1.  Most databases offer users a way to limit their searches to "scholarly" and/or "peer reviewed" articles.  This is the easiest option to use if available.

2.  You can find the journal's website or look at the print copy of the journal.  The site and print edition will usually include information as to the nature of the publication including if it is peer reviewed or refereed.

3.  If it is difficult to find this information on the site, try to find the "Instructions for Authors" pages or links.  Articles are considered to be refereed (peer-reviewed) if authors are asked to submit multiple copies of the same article. The editor usually wants extra copies to send to reviewers.

4.  Check the journal to see if there is an editorial board. The members of this board usually serve as reviewers.

What is a Research Study?

Research studies are derived from actual observation or experiments.  They are papers whose authors have done original research, rather than reporting on someone else's research.
How to Spot a Research Article:
  • Look for the following words in the abstract: Observation, Questionaires, Interviews, Empirical, Case studies, User studies, Experimental, and/or Survey.
  • Look for the following sub-headings in the article:  Abstract, Introduction, Literature, Methodology, Results, Discussion, Conclusion, and/or References.
The presence of tables, charts, and statistics often means it is scholarly and /or a research study. 
In some databases (example: PsycINFO), you can limit by "Methodology" for specific types of research studies.