14. Critical Appraisal

  1. Caroline De Brún1 and
  2. Nicola Pearce-Smith2

Published Online: 15 NOV 2013

DOI: 10.1002/9781118463093.ch14

Searching Skills Toolkit: Finding the Evidence, Second Edition

Searching Skills Toolkit: Finding the Evidence, Second Edition

How to Cite

De Brún, C. and Pearce-Smith, N. (eds) (2014) Critical Appraisal, in Searching Skills Toolkit: Finding the Evidence, Second Edition, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd, Oxford, UK. doi: 10.1002/9781118463093.ch14

Editor Information

  1. 1

    Clinical Support Librarian, UCL Library Services and Royal Free London NHS Foundation Trust, London, UK

  2. 2

    Information Scientist, Department of Knowledge and Information Science, Summertown Pavilion, Middle Way, Oxford, UK

Publication History

  1. Published Online: 15 NOV 2013
  2. Published Print: 3 JAN 2014

Book Series:

Book Series Editors:

  1. Carl Heneghan,
  2. Rafael Perera and
  3. Douglas Badenoch

ISBN Information

Print ISBN: 9781118463130

Online ISBN: 9781118463093



  • Centre for Evidence-Based Medicine;
  • critical appraisal;
  • Critical Appraisal Skills Programme (CASP);
  • healthcare databases


The majority of content indexed in healthcare databases has not undergone additional critical appraisal. The papers indexed on these databases are not appraised by the indexers, and consequently their quality is variable. This chapter contains some resources for appraising documents. The critical appraisal process should entail a fair assessment of the research, weighing up the strengths and weaknesses, benefits and limitations. The purpose of critical appraisal is to find out the answers to the following three questions: (i) what are the results (ii) are the results valid, and (iii) how will these results help? The chapter provides a list of checklists and tools available to help support critical appraisal such as Centre for Evidence-Based Medicine – checklists and tools, and Critical Appraisal Skills Programme (CASP) – tools.