As you are gathering research for your topics you need to consider the quality of that research and how it applies to the question you are trying to find an answer to. Your question may relate to an assignment, dissertation, guidance development or patient care.
To help you to appraise research you can use the CASP website. This is the Critical Appraisal Skills Programme
Here you will find resources to help you to develop your critical appraisal skills.
There is a section which explains the steps you need to go through as you are carrying out your research – Find, Appraise, Act
You will also find a list of Checklists relating to different types of studies such as
- Randomised Controlled Trials
- Systematic Reviews
- Cohort Studies
- Case-Control Studies
- Qualitative Studies
- Economic Evaluations
- Diagnostic Studies
These give you a number of questions that you need to ask yourself about the articles that you are finding. Determining whether you can identify the answers to these questions will help you to decide whether the research being described is of good quality, reporting valid results and applicable to your research topic.