Resources for students for learning the knowledge and skills needed for critiquing research studies in order to be critical consumers of research and evidence based practitioners

PubMed search

Getting Started

Start with:

Then try any of the following:

Also check out:

Health Sciences Research Toolkit

Resources, tips, and guidelines to help you through the research process.


Finding Information

Library Research Checklist
Helpful hints for starting a library research project.

Search Strategy Checklist and Tips
Helpful tips on how to develop a literature search strategy.

Boolean Operators: A Cheat Sheet
Boolean logic (named after mathematician George Boole) is a system of logic to designed to yield optimal search results. The Boolean operators, AND, OR, and NOT, help you construct a logical search. Boolean operators act on sets -- groups of records containing a particular word or concept.

Health Statistics and Data Sources
Health related statistics and data sources are increasingly available on the Internet. They can be found already neatly packaged, or as raw data sets. The most reliable data comes from governmental sources or health-care professional organizations.


Evaluating Information

Primary, Secondary and Tertiary Sources in the Health Sciences
Understand what are considered primary, secondary and tertiary sources.

Scholarly vs Popular Journals/Magazines
How to determine what are scholarly journals vs trade or popular magazines.

Identifying Peer-Reviewed Journals
A “peer-reviewed” or “refereed” journal is one in which the articles it contains have been examined by people with credentials in the article’s field of study before it is published.

Evaluating Web  Resources
When searching for information on the Internet, it is important to be aware of the quality of the information being presented to you. Keep in mind that anyone can host a web site. To be sure that the information you are looking at is credible and of value.

Understanding Research Study Designs
Covers case studies, randomized control trials, systematic reviews and meta-analysis.


Writing and Publishing

Citing Sources
Citations are brief notations in the body of a research paper that point to a source in the bibliography or references cited section.

Structure of a Research Paper
Reports of research studies usually follow the IMRAD format. IMRAD (Introduction, Methods, Results, [and] Discussion) is a mnemonic for the major components of a scientific paper. These elements are included in the overall structure of a research paper.

Top Reasons for Non-Acceptance of Scientific Articles
Avoid these mistakes when preparing an article for publication.

Writing guides, Style Manuals and the Publication Process in the Biological and Health Sciences
Style manuals, citation guides as well as information on public access policies, copyright and plagiarism.

Evidence Based Practice in OT

5 Steps of EBP

  

Use the five "A's" to remember the critical steps of the evidence-based practice process:

ASK the answerable clinical question.

ACQUIRE the most relevant and best evidence to answer the question.

APPRAISE the evidence critically for validity, relevance, and applicability.

APPLY the evidence, along with critical expertise and the patient's preferences and values.

ASSESS the effectiveness and efficiency of the previous four steps and seek ways to improve one's ability to ask, acquire, appraise, and apply.

Asking the Question

  

The "Well-Built Clinical Question"

PICO(T)

The first part of any research is identifying the question you want to answer. This is very important because the more you understand your question the more likely you are to obtain relevant results. The process of formulating a good search question is known in evidence-based health care as “the well-built clinical question.”* One way of building your search question starts with the patient and is known as PICO, which stands for:

  • P - Patient or Population or Problem/Disease
    • Who or what is the question about? This may include the primary problem, disease, or circumstances. Sometimes the sex, age, or race of a patient might be relevant to the diagnosis or treatment of a disease.
  • I - Intervention, Exposure or Prognostic Factor
    • What main intervention/treatment are you considering? What factor may influence the prognosis of the patient, such as age or comorbidities? What was the patient exposed to?
  • C - Comparison(s) or Control
    • What alternative intervention are you considering, if any? For example, you might be comparing the efficacy of two medications or the accuracy of two diagnostic tests. Your clinical question does not have to always have a specific comparison.
  • O - Outcome(s)
    • What are you trying to accomplish or measure? What are you trying to do for the patient or problem? Examples might include managing a disease, alleviating symptoms, preventing a disease, etc.
  • T - Timeframe (optional)
    • What's the amount of time that you'll be observing the patient or problem. For example, improving rates of hospital-acquired infections over the course of a year.

Also consider the two Ts

 

Type of Question

  • Diagnosis : How to select and interpret diagnostic tests
  • Therapy : How to select treatments to offer patients that do more good than harm and that are worth the efforts and costs of using them
  • Prognosis : How to estimate the patient’s likely clinical course over time and anticipate likely complications of disease
  • Etiology : How to identify causes for disease, including genetics

Type of Study

For more information on the next two As -- Acquiring the Evidence (literature searching) and Appraising the Evidence see the complete Evidence Based Practice LibGuide.

Tutorials

eBooks on Research: Literature Searching, Critical Appraisal, Analysis

Citation Management

About citation managers

Citation managers are software packages used to create personalized databases of citation information and notes. They allow you to:

  • import and organize citation information from article indexes and other sources
  • save pdfs and other documents
  • format citations for your papers and bibliographies using APA, MLA, Chicago, Vancouver, and many other styles
  • include your own notes

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Choose a citation manager

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Citation managers we support

Contact us for support with the following citation tools or attend a workshop

EndNote Basic

EndNote Desktop

Mendeley

Zotero

BibTeX users can find more information in our BibTeX guide

APA Style

APA Style (American Psychological Association)  

Last Updated: Sep 10, 2021 2:39 PM