Many scholarly journals are considered Peer Reviewed. Prior to publishing an articled in a peer-reviewed journal, the article is sent to a group of editors or scholars in the field and is reviewed. The reviewers evaluate the methodology, research design etc of the article prior to approving it for publication.
Many databases including Sociological Abstracts provide the ability to limit results of a search to reviewed or refereed journals. Some databases, as well as Google Scholar, do not indicate whether a journal is peer reviewed. There is no way to include "peer reviewed" in your search strategy.
In order to determine if an article that you retrieve from a database comes from a peer reviewed journal, you can use the database Ulrich's Periodicals Directory. It is listed under Databases on the Library website. The record for the journal in Ulrichs wil indicate whether the journal is refereed.
What is an empirical study?
Empirical studies involve original objective observation or experimentation, and the results are often published in peer-reviewed journals. Peer-reviewed journals have experts from the field select and review articles prior to their publication.
When examining a journal article, look for the following components:
Abstracts of empirical articles usually contain: