WHAT IS RESEARCH
• A critical evaluation /
appraisal of a research
“Systematic, unbiased, careful
examination of all aspects of a study to
judge the merits, limitations, meaning
and significance based on previous
research experience and knowledge of
- Burns, N. & Grove, S., 2005.
Importance of research
• To broaden understanding for use
• For implementing an evidence-
based nursing practice.
• Encourages nurses to participate
in clinical inquiry and provide
evidence for use in practice.
PURPOSES OF CRITIQUE
• To assess students’ methodological
and analytical skills (identify
limitations & strengths).
• Seasoned researcher to help journal
• Written critique is a guide to
• To advance nursing knowledge &
Be objective: make
comments specific to the
work you are reviewing
Be constructive: Critique
should be an advisory and
Read & critique the entire
Be objective & realistic
Comment on strengths and
Give specific examples
Use positive terms whenever
possible and say the positive
Avoid vague generalizations of
praise and fault findings
Be sensitive in handling
Evaluate substantive, ethical,
methodologic, interpretative &
What type of study was
What was the setting?
Were the steps clearly
Was there a logical flow?
ELEMENTS OF A RESEARCH
Substantive & theoretical
Presentation / stylistic dimensions
Is the purpose of the study
Is the significance (importance)
of the problem discussed?
Does the investigator provide a
sense of what he or she is
doing and why?
Is the problem statement clear?
Does the investigator identify
key research questions and
variables to be examined?
Does the study have the
potential to help solve a
problem that is currently faced
in clinical practice?
Does literature review follow a logical
sequence leading to a critical review
of supporting and conflicting prior
Is the relationship of the study to
previous research clear?
Does the investigator describe gaps
in the literature and support the
necessity of the present study?
Check if conceptual framework described?
If not, does it detract from the research?
Are the concepts to be studied identified
Are measures for each of the concepts
identified and described?
Does the research problem flow naturally
from the conceptual framework?
Are research questions or hypotheses
Do the research questions and
hypotheses naturally flow from the
research problem and theoretical
Does each research question or
hypothesis contain at least two
Are the research questions or
hypotheses worded clearly and
Are the relevant variables and concepts clearly
and operationally defined?
Is the design appropriate for the research
questions or hypotheses?
Are methods of data collection sufficiently
What are the identified and potential threats to
internal and external validity that were present
in the study?
If there was more than one data collector, was
the inter-rater reliability adequate?
Are the subjects and sampling
Is the sample of sufficient size for the
study, given the number of variables
Is there adequate assurance that the
rights of human subjects were
Are appropriate instruments for
data collection used?
Are reliability and validity of the
Are the statistical tests used identified and
the values reported?
Are appropriate statistics used, according to
level of measurement, sample size, sampling
method, and hypotheses / research
Are the results for each hypothesis clearly
and objectively presented?
Do the figures and tables illuminate the
presentation of results?
Are results described in light of the
theoretical framework and supporting
Conclusions / discussion
Are conclusions based on the results and
related to the hypotheses?
Are study limitations identified?
Are generalizations made within the scope of
Are implications of findings discussed (i.e.,
for practice, education and research)?
Are recommendations for further research
Is the study of sufficient quality to
meet the criterion of scientific merit?
Does the study meet the criterion of
Is the study of relevance to practice?
Is the study feasible for nurses to
Do the benefits of the study outweigh
STATEMENT OF THE
PHENOMENON OF INTEREST
Is the phenomenon of interest
Has the researcher identified why
the phenomenon requires a
Has the research described the
philosophic underpinnings of the
Has the research made explicit
the purpose of conducting the
Does the researcher describe the
projected significance of the
work to nursing?
Is the method used to collect data
compatible with the purpose of the
Is the method adequate to address the
phenomenon of interest?
If a particular approach is used to
guide the inquiry, does the researcher
complete the study according to the
Does the researcher describe
the selection of participants? Is
purposive sampling used?
Are the informants who were
chosen appropriate for
Is data collection focused on human
Does the researcher describe data
collection strategies (i.e. interview,
observation, field notes)?
Is protection of human participants
Is saturation of the data described?
Has the researcher made explicit the
procedures for collecting data ?
Does the researcher describe the
strategies used to analyze the data?
Has the researcher remained true to the
Does the reader understand the
procedures used to analyze the data?
Does researcher address the credibility,
auditability, and fittingness of the data?
Do the participants recognize the experience as
Can the reader follow the researcher’s thinking?
Does the researcher document the research
Can the findings be applicable outside the study
Are the results meaningful to individuals not
involved in the research?
Is the strategy used for analysis compatible with
the purpose of the study?
Are the findings presented within a
Is the reader able to grasp the
essence of the experience from the
report of the findings?
Are the researcher’s
conceptualization true to the data?
Does the researcher place the report
in the context of what already is
known about the phenomenon?
CONCLUSION, IMPLICATION &
Do the conclusions, implications and
recommendations give the reader a
context in which to use the findings?
Do the conclusions reflect the study
Does the researcher offer
recommendations for future study?
Has the researcher made explicit the
significance of the study to nursing?
STYLES IN WRITING
More formal, impersonal fashion and
use passive voice
Make concluding evaluation statement
as to the overall worth and relevance
of the study
Research is the best possible means of
answering many questions, no single
study can provide conclusive evidence
Evidence is accumulated through the
conduct & evaluation of several
Reader who can do reflective and
thorough critiques of research reports
play a role in advancing nursing
A word about your style: let your
presentation be well reasoned and
objective. If you passionately disagree
(or agree) with the author, let your
passion inspire you to new heights of
thorough research and reasoned
• Burns N, Grove SK. The Practice of Nursing Research
conduct, critique & utilization. 5 ed. W.B. Saunders
Company: Philadelphia; 2005.
• Bush CT. Nursing Research. 1 ed. Reston Publishing
company: Inc. Virginia; 1985.
• Hicks CM. Research Methods for Clinical Therapists –
applied project design and analysis. 3 ed. Churchill
Livingstone: London; 1999.
• Polit DF, Beck CT. Nursing Research Principles and
Methods. 7 ed. Lippincott Williams & Wilkins company:
• Talbot LA. Principles and practice of Nursing Research. 1
ed. Mosby Year book Inc: St Louis; 1995.