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Finding Free Health Sciences Literature

Critical Appraisal Tools

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There are lots of tools available to help you critically appraise the literature you find. See below for a sample; pick the ones that work best for you.

  1. Is the study valid?
  2. What are the results (if the study is determined to be valid)?
  3. Are the results useful (and applicable to your patient)?

black and white drawing of a lightbulbWant to learn more about critical appraisal before jumping in? The videos below will give you a primer:


Retraction Watch

Retraction Watch Logo; links to Retraction Watch blog



Retraction Watch is a website that features news on research misconduct, scientific controversies, and, of course, retractions. Reading it regularly will also help you to see what you should be on the lookout for when reading research. You can also sign up for the RW Daily to keep abreast of the latest retraction news.

Retraction Watch also has a database, where you can search for retracted articles by title, author, subject, reason for retraction, and much more. If you're unsure about an article, you can always look it (or the authors) up in the database.