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Literature review methods

Tags: English, General

Critical appraisal

Assess for quality

Critical appraisal refers to the process of judging the validity and quality of a research paper. Because your review will be a synthesis of the research conducted by others, it is important to consider major points about the studies you include such as: 

  • Is the study valid?
  • What are the results, and are they significant or trustworthy?
  • Are the results applicable to your research question?

Critical appraisal tools

Several checklists or tools are available to help you assess the quality of studies to be included in your review.

  • AACODS checklist for appraising grey literature
  • CASP includes checklists for systematic reviews, RCTs, qualitative studies etc.
  • Centre for Evidence Based Medicine appraisal worksheets to appraise the reliability, importance and applicability of clinical evidence
  • Joanna Briggs Institute critical appraisal tools to assess the trustworthiness, relevance and results of published papers
  • RoBiS tool for assessing the risk of bias in systematic reviews (rather than in primary studies)
  • RoB 2 Cochrane risk-of-bias tool for randomized trials

Additional resources