Clinical Guide: Evaluating Research

First off, apologies for my absence yesterday. Migraines have been getting the best of me on and off for the past week, and yesterday I finally just surrendered. But I’m back today, and because I’m a giant nerd, there’s a new clinical guide for you on evaluating research. For anyone who’s ever heard me speak on the issue of providing ethical and effective court testimony, one of the main topics of discussion is always about being able to support your opinions with credible scientific information. That, of course, leads into a discussion of how you actually do that. Fortunately, many smart people have addressed this topic. Click through for a listing of full-text articles and web resources divided into 4 sections: general information, internet sources, healthcare research and violence research:

Please contact me if you’d like the word doc of this clinical guide:



NEW: How can you tell if scientific evidence is strong or weak? (

NEW: Predatory Publishing (FHO)

Evaluating Research Quality [PDF] (T. Litman, Victoria Transport Policy Institute)

Evaluating Introductions and Literature Reviews [PDF](F. Pyrczak, via Indiana University)

Interpreting Research Studies [PDF] (Guttmacher Institute)

Who’s Afraid of Peer Review? (J. Bohannon, Science)

How to Read a Research Article [PDF] (R. Dunafon via Cornell University)

A Rough Guide to Spotting Bad Science (A brilliant infographic from Compound Interest)

Internet Sources:

Evaluating Information Found on the Internet: Distinguishing Propaganda and Misinformation (Johns Hopkins University, Sheridan Libraries)

Evaluating Internet Research Sources (R. Harris)

Healthcare Research:

A Simple Method for Evaluating the Clinical Literature (R. Flaherty, Family Practice Management)

Checklist for the qualitative evaluation of clinical studies with particular focus on external validity and model validity [PDF](G. Bornh, BMC Medical Research Methodology)

Critique Process [PDF](C. Boswell & S. Cannon, via Jones and Bartlett Publishers)

Evaluating the Literature (T. Gaeta, Medscape)

Finding the research for evidence-based practice – Part two: Selecting credible evidence (J. Fitzpatrick, Nursing Times)

User’s Guide to the Nursing Research: An Introduction (N. Cullum, Evidence Based Nursing)

Glossary of Evidence-Based Medicine Terms (Centre for Evidence-Based Medicine)

Violence Research:

Evaluating Violence Against Women Research Reports (S. Beeman, VAWnet)

Reading, Understanding and Evaluating Research: Glossary of Research Terms [PDF] (NSVRC)

Understanding Evidence: Pt. I Best Available Research Evidence (CDC)

{See also: Guide to Literature Searches and our previous post on understanding and evaluating the literature}