Information Skills

Critical Appraisal

Small purple icon of two people facing each other   Critical Appraisal: Training, Guides and Resources

What is Critical Appraisal?

“Critical appraisal is the process of carefully and systematically examining research to judge its trustworthiness, its value and relevance in a particular context”*

Critical Appraisal Skills enable you to assess published papers so that you can decide if the results are useful for you and your patients.

The Library and Knowledge Service offers training sessions and a variety of resources to help you improve your Critical Appraisal skills.

*Burls, A. What is critical appraisal? (2009). London, Hayward Group.


The Clinical Librarian offers Critical Appraisal sessions tailored to the needs of your department. Training can be from 1 hour to half a day as required and can be delivered virtually or at a location to suit you. 

Topics covered may include: 

  • Why we need to critically appraise
  • What to look out for in a paper
  • Types of bias
  • How to identify different study designs
  • Strengths and weaknesses of different study designs
  • Basic statistics (p-values, confidence intervals)
  • Using Checklists to appraise a paper

To arrange a training session please complete our online form
If you have any questions about Critical Appraisal contact Yvonne, the Clinical Librarian.

​Journal Clubs

Reasons to have a journal club include:

  • keeping abreast of new knowledge
  • promoting awareness of current research findings
  • learning to critique and appraise
  • Sharing knowledge and experience
  • Helping to put research into practice

The Clinical Librarian can help facilitate your journal club, providing support in the form of Critical Appraisal Training sessions, advice on how to set up your journal club and assistance with facilitation and access to journal articles and other useful resources.

​Guides and Other Resources

Tutorials and guides on Evidence Based Medicine and Critical Appraisal

Guides to research designs

Guides to statistics

Critical Appraisal Checklists

How to set up a journal club

Understanding Health Research