To critically analyse /appraise or evaluate, means to:
Once you have identified evidence for your search topic, you should critically appraise it. This is particularly important in medicine, nursing, pharmacy and other health sciences, where poorly conducted research can have a negative impact on patient outcomes.
Critical appraisal is the process of carefully and systematically examining research to judge its trustworthiness, and its value and relevance in a particular context. (Burls 2009, p.1)
The following resources will help inform most critical appraisal projects.
CASP checklists are widely used. See our additional guidance and examples for using CASP checklists for selected study designs:
Bibliometrics is concerned with the analysis of research based on citation counts and patterns. The individual measures used are also commonly referred to as bibliometrics, or citation metrics.
There are checklists available, which can help you to determine if a source of information is reliable. We recommend the following:
WHAT is the resource (book, article or website)?
WHO is the author (are they a qualified person or organisation)?
WHY has the resource been written (to try and sell you something, or persuade you to do something)?
WHEN was it published or updated?
WHERE is the information from (is it from a peer reviewed journal or an anonymous blog post)?
A method called lateral reading involves reading about a source (e.g. website) on other trustworthy websites, such as fact-checking sites (e.g. Politfact). You should look outside the website, and don't just rely on the 'About us' section.