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Research Database Tips 101: Limiting to Peer Reviewed Articles ONLY

Find quality information in less time

What is a Peer Reviewed Article?

Peer reviewed sources are NOT just any article in our databases (Gale, EBSCO, etc…).

This short video will explain a little about the peer reviewed process in general: 

How to retrieve ONLY peer reviewed articles in Gale & EBSCO databases

How to find peer reviewed articles:
When you check the checkbox in Gale or EBSCO for "peer reviewed" or "scholarly" the database filters out results from non-peer reviewed sources. The articles remaining in your results should only be from peer reviewed sources. However, there will often be other documents in those results including editorials, letters to the editor, book reviews, etc…. Although there will be significantly fewer of these and it is relatively easy to distinguish them from articles, you could choose to eliminate them from your results entirely if you wish.

In Gale databases: 
After setting other limiters (full-text, Peer reviewed, date ranges) filter the “document type” on your initial results screen to “article” and “brief article” and select “apply” in the bottom right corner. 

Image with Gale "document type" filter circled

How you know it worked:

Image showing "applied filters": full text, peer-reviewed, and date > Jun 01, 2016


In EBSCO databases:
The “Scholarly (peer reviewed) Journals" checkbox does not currently work as well as it does in the Gale databases. Example: A sample search also included some magazines in the results.

To fix this select “Advanced Search”

Image highlighting "Advanced Search" link in EBSCO

Then select all of your desired limiters. A limiter helps refine (or limit) your results. In this case the limiters will be: Full Text, Scholarly, Document type (Article), Published date (usually 5 years depending on the topic & make your end date 6 months in the future), Publication type (Academic Journal), Language (English).

Image of limiter options for an Advanced Search  in EBSCO

How you know it worked:

Image showing the chosen filterers were applied in an EBSCO Advanced Search

WARNING: If you enter new search terms in the top search box you will lose all of your filters and will need to reselect them.

Note: For instructions on the basics of searching and logging into the Polk State databases, select the "Finding Articles (Quick General Review)" tab in red near the top of this page.

Accessing the Polk State College Library Databases

To access the Library's databases, start at the Library's homepage (

From there, select the link for Articles/Databases

Image of Library/TLCC Homepage

The list of all PSC databases will appear--arranged alphabetically. You can also view the databases arranged by subject area by selecting the "All Subjects" dropdown near the top. 

Image of Database List A-Z

After selecting a specific database, you will be prompted to sign in.

Students: Use your Passport information - Student ID number and Password (default: two-digit month and two-digit year of your birth).

Staff/Faculty: Use your Polk email address and password 

If you are having difficulty signing in with your Passport credentials, try clearing the cookies/cache in your browser OR try using a different browser (Chrome, Edge, Safari, Firefox, etc...). This will fix the problem about 90% of the time. 


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