When a source has been peer reviewed, it has undergone review and scrutiny by a review board made up of colleagues from the author's field. They evaluate this source as part of the body of research on a particular discipline and make recommendations regarding its publication in a journal, reviews prior to publication or, in some cases, reject its publication. The authority and credibility of academic sources improve the quality of your own article or research project. The following characteristics can help you differentiate academic sources from non-academic sources.
Be sure to consider the criteria in each category when making your determination, rather than basing your decision on a single piece of information. Each type of resource listed below will also have unique criteria that can be applied to it to determine if it is academic. Use the following flow chart to determine if your source is academic. Look to the left of the title and, if you find the icon of a referee shirt, it means that the journal has been peer reviewed or refereed.
Academics and experts in a field can publish articles on a topic for a general audience, students, or even people within their field, but if it's not published in an academic publication, it's not an academic article.