Evaluate information found on websites or in papers by applying critical appraisal and considering standards when evaluating information.
In addition to identifying critical appraisal resources (listed below), Welch experts list writing standards and other information quality resources to help members of the Johns Hopkins University and Medicine Community better-evaluate the quality of information consumed.
Contact an informationist with questions and for help evaluating quality of information.
Critical Appraisal Resources
- Center for Evidence-Based Management Critically Appraised Topic (CAT) - available online and as an app, this tool takes the user through a prompt of questions to evaluate cause and effect and methodological appropriateness.
- Centre for Evidence-Based Medicine Critical Appraisal Worksheets - a series of worksheets in multiple languages focused on the evaluation of systematic reviews, diagnosis and prognosis, and randomized controlled trials.
- Critical Appraisal Skills Programme - a series of checklists designed to help the user evaluate everything from RCTs and systematic reviews to qualitative research.
- Dartmouth Biomedical Library Evidence-Based Medicine Worksheets - use the critical appraisal worksheets to appraise clinical trials, practice guidelines, qualitative research, and more.
- Joanna Briggs Institute Critical Appraisal Tools - a series of checklists with questions used to evaluate all types of clinical research.
- Johns Hopkins Nursing Evidence-Based Practice Research Evidence Appraisal Tool - part of a larger evidence-based practice model, this worksheet asks a number of questions that will allow the user to grade the evidence.
- Understanding Health Research - this online questionnaire helps users understand the basic principles of clinical research.
Academic medical articles often have guidelines that inform how they are written and evaluated. These guidelines can also be used by article readers to evaluate quality. It is important to note that in additional to article types having standards, different levels of evidence also have different guidelines. Find more information on these at the Equator Network.
Here are popular article types and their respective guidelines.
- Randomized trials: CONSORT
- Observational studies: STROBE
- Systematic reviews: PRISMA
- Case reports: CARE
- Qualitative research: SRQR, COREQ
- Diagnostic/prognostic studies: STARD, TRIPOD
- Quality improvement studies: SQUIRE
- Economic evaluations: CHEERS
- Animal pre-clinical studies: ARRIVE
- Study protocols: SPIRIT, PRISMA-P
- Clinical practice guidelines: AGREE, RIGHT
Open Access Journals Focusing on Information Quality
Think, Check, Submit is a website that describes how to evaluate whether a journal is a good fit for a paper. It includes a checklist to determine if a publisher is reputable.
Directory of Open Access Journals is a directory of high-quality, open access, peer reviewed journals.
Web Resource Promoting Useful and Reliable Health Information
The HON foundation is a non-profit, non-governmental organization that promotes useful and reliable health information. HON provides certification for websites, an option to search reliable health websites, and useful tools for patients, medical professionals and web publishers.