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Critical Appraisal

Information and resources on how to assess the quality and relevance of articles


There are numerous tools to assist in evaluating the quality of published research.

  • Checklists provide an easy method to work through the methodological rigour of a paper.
  • Reporting standards give guidance to authors on how research should be conducted and reported. Read papers with a view to how well they meet these standards.



Critical Appraisal Study Programme (CASP) – Free checklists for RCT's, systematic reviews, qualitative research, cohort studies, diagnostic studies, case control studies, economic evaluations and clinical prediction rules 

Oxford Centre for Evidence-Based Medicine (CEBM) - Critical Appraisal Tools. A variety of resources, including sheets on Systematic Reviews, Diagnostics, Prognosis, RCT’s and  Qualitative Studies, also available in Chinese, German, Portugese, Spanish and Persian.

University of Glasgow General Practice and Primary Care EBP checklists for treatment or prevention, qualitative research, decision analysis, educational intervention, prognosis, harm or causation, guidelines, diagnosis or screening, systematic review and economic evaluations.

Joanna Briggs Institute  - Critical Appraisal Tools. Free checklists and notes from a leading authority on using evidence to support decision making. Also includes checklists for case reports, case series, quasi-experimental studies and text and opinion pieces.

University of South Australia, International Centre for Allied Health Evidence – appraisal tools 


Reporting Statements

CONSORT (Consolidated Standards of Reporting Trials) is an evidence-based, minimum set of recommendations for reporting randomized trials. Includes  flowchart and checklist.

STROBE (STrengthening the Reporting of OBservational studies in Epidemiology) recommendations for cohort, case control and cross sectional studies. Available in languages other than English.

The SPIRIT Statement - an international standard for trial protocols. Available in languages other than English.

PRISMA (Preferred Reporting Items for Systematic Reviews and Meta-Analyses) recommendations for systematic reviews and meta-analyses.

EQUATOR (Enhancing the QUAlity and Transparency Of health Research)  - a collection of reporting guidelines and other tools to promote good practice in research.