In most databases, it is possible to browse the tables of contents of indexed journals. Below are links to tables of contents pages for a few titles which might be of interest.
In addition to providing access to most articles from Journal of AHIMA, the Body of Knowledge also provides access to AHIMA's conference proceedings, white papers and practice briefs. Note: you do need an AHIMA membership to access many of the documents on this site.
Peer Reviewed Articles
Peer-reviewed articles are often referred to as the "gold standard" of scholarly journal writing since they have been carefully vetted before publication. Rather than relying on journal editors to decide if an article should be included in the publication, the article is sent to experts ("peers") in the field who review the piece and determine if it should be included in the journal. Criteria for inclusion typically include:
In most cases, authors will not know the identity of the peers who review their work. This is referred to as a "single blind" peer review. In some cases, the reviewers will also be unaware of the identity of the authors. This is known as a "double blind" review (Morris, Barnas, LaFrenier, & Reich, 2012).
Locating Peer Reviewed Articles
Urlich's -- This is a massive directory listing journals throughout the world. Entries in the directory indicate which titles are peer reviewed. To use the tool, search on the names of individual journal titles. In the search results, a black and white shield to the left of a title indicates that it is peer-reviewed/refereed.
Several of the major journal databases have search limitations which restrict results to articles published in peer reviewed journals. A note of caution: using these limitations does not guarantee that retrieved documents have been peer reviewed since book reviews, letters, and some shorter pieces in peer reviewed journals are not, indeed, peer reviewed.
Medline - According to the National Library of Medicine, 99 percent of the journals indexed in Medline are peer reviewed. Therefore, Medline does not have this limitation in its search options.
SOLAR - Under the Basic search window, click on "Search Options." The resulting screen has a limitation for "Scholarly (peer reviewed) Journals." This same limitation is available in the Advanced Search.
Perhaps the most reliable strategy for determining if a journal is peer reviewed is to check the web site for the journal. Most journals will proudly announce their peer reviewed status on their home page or in their instructions for authors.
When to Use Peer Reviewed Articles in Academic Writing
A well-chosen peer reviewed article from a respected journal can help provide authority to your academic papers and projects. Most peer reviewed articles in the health sciences are research articles, which present evidence that might be used to support arguments that you are making in your writing.
As you search databases in the health sciences, you are also likely to encounter trade publications, which are written for professionals in the field. It should be noted that articles from these publications are not peer reviewed. Depending on the assignement, these articles might still be useful to you in demonstrating examples of how evidence from research (e.g. from peer reviewed journals) is being implemented in the real world. The appropriateness of including information from trade journals will likely depend on your writing assignment and the preference of your instructor.
Morris, S., Barnas, E., LaFrenier, D., & Reich, M. (2012). The handbook of journal publishing.Cambridge, England: Cambridge University Press.