Literature reviews and the research they review are both published in peer-reviewed/scholarly journals.
Peer-review is defined as:
a process by which something proposed (as for research or publication) is evaluated by a group of experts in the appropriate field. (Merriam-Webster, http://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/peer%20review)
In simple terms, a peer-reviewed article is an article that was carefully evaluated by a group of specialists to make sure that the information in the article is correct. Your professors prefer that you use peer-reviewed articles in your research because they have been verified to have valid information.
Literature Reviews Defined
A literature review:
Is a survey of the published, peer-reviewed research on a specific topic.
May include scholarly journal articles, books, conference proceedings, and dissertations.
Summarizes, evaluates, and analyzes this previously published research.
Identifies trends and opportunities for further research within the topic.
Doesn't present any new research.
Recommended Databases for Peer-Reviewed Education Articles
In the Professional Development Collection database, you can choose "literature review" on the search screen, under "Limit Your Results and Document Type".
In the other Education databases, use "literature review" as an additional search term, along with your topic.
Current and historical literature related to growth and development of children through the age of 21. Includes book reviews and abstracts from hundreds of journals and a bibliography of thousands of technical reports, books, book chapters, theses and dissertations covering biomedical and social sciences worldwide are indexed. More than 119,600 records are included with over 10,000 new records added each year.
Combing Education Research Complete, Education Full-Text, Education Abstracts and Education Index Retrospective along with adding over 200 additional full-text journals, this collection provides the most comprehensive and extensive full-text education database. Coverage in Education Source spans all levels of education from early childhood to higher education and also includes educational specialties such as multilingual education, health education and testing.