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SPED 4263 Assistive Technology Strategies & Universal Design for Students with Autism Spectrum Disorders: Articles/Databases

Peer-Reviewed Resources

Frequently, journal articles are peer-reviewed or refereed. What does it mean to be peer-reviewed or refereed?

A peer-reviewed journal is one that is reviewed by persons who are not members of the editorial board, and who are not paid employees of the journal. The reviewers are “peers” of the authors in the sense that they have comparable academic or professional experience, and are thus qualified to meaningfully critique the quality of the article. The decision whether or not to publish an article normally depends primarily on the judgment of the reviewers, though the editors arbitrate between--and sometimes override—the reviewers’ decisions. The purpose of a peer review system is to ensure an objective standard of quality in articles accepted for publication, which does not depend merely on the subjective preferences of the editorial staff (as long as the articles are consistent with the goals of the journal).

Refereed is another name for peer-review, as the peers  who review the article serve as a sort of referee.

The peer-reviewed label means literally that a panel of independent scholars have recommended the article for publication.

A way to be absolutely sure an article is from a peer-reviewed journal is to look in the database, UlrichsWeb (see link below). When you find your journal in UlrichsWeb, make sure there is a referee jersey icon associated with the title.

Useful Databases

Search Tips for Databases

  1. Be prepared with synonyms in case your original search produces no results. Use a thesaurus if the database is equipped with one.
     
  2. Pay attention to search tips or help screens provided by each database. Even experienced researchers (like professors and librarians!) can have trouble when dealing with a new interface. Take the time to learn how to use the tool - it will help you to avoid frustration!
     
  3. Remember that most databases allow for Boolean Searching (see YouTube video below).  Use and to narrow, or to expand, not to exlude.  Truncation is also useful for bringing back all relevant results.  For example, type counsel* to bring back documents containing the words counsel, counseling, counselor....
     
  4. Take advantage of the following sources of help:

    College of Education Resource Coordinator: Sarah Burkhead Whittle. Use the information on the right sidebar to contact me with a question or to schedule a one-on-one reference session.

    Reference On Call at JVL is staffed from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Monday - Thursday and 9 a.m. - 3 p.m. on Friday by reference librarians or other experienced library staff members. 

Your Librarian

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Sarah Burkhead Whittle
Contact:
John Vaughan Library 214C
918-444-3262