The Quantitative Research Process

Readings and Overview

Topic 1
Importance to Nursing

Topic 2
Defining the terms

Topic 3
The research setting

Topic 4
The research process

Topic 5
Pilot study

Topic 6
Research reports

Topic 7
Research critique

Topic 8
Critique phases

Web Assignment

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TOPIC #7:
General guidelines for conducting a research critique

   Objective 7: Describe the basic guidelines that direct the conduct of a research critique.

The process of research critique is an intellectual activity with multiple parts. It can be a daunting task if approached without a plan for analysis. Therefore, guidelines and considerations are available for conducting a research critique.

First, specific questions need to be considered as part of the critique process. These include:

  1. Was the research problem significant, and will the study generate or refine knowledge for nursing practice?
  2. What are the major strengths of the study, the major weaknesses?
  3. Is the methodology used for the research appropriate and sound?
  4. Do the findings accurately reflect reality, and are the findings credible?
  5. Are the findings consistent with findings from previous studies?
  6. What is the significance of the findings for nursing practice?
  7. Can other researchers replicate the study?

Answering these questions requires careful examination of each part of the research report, including the:

  • Problem
  • Purpose
  • Literature review
  • Framework
  • Methods
  • Results
  • Findings
  • Discussion

Second, while conducting a research critique, remember these guidelines and considerations.

  1. Read and critique the entire study because the quality of each part must be assessed.
  2. Evaluate all aspects of the study - substantive, methodological, interpretive, ethical, and presentational dimensions.
  3. Evaluate the organization and presentation of the research report to include consideration of:
    • Style - The report should be complete, concise, clearly presented, and logically organized.
    • Jargon - The use of jargon should be minimal.
    • References - These should be complete and presented in a consistent and appropriate format.
  4. Evaluate the significance of the study in guiding nursing practice.
  5. Identify the strengths and weaknesses of the study. Every study has both, so be sure to include both.
  6. Be objective and realistic when identifying the strengths and weaknesses. The critique should be a balanced assessment of the worth of the research. Strive not to be overly critical or overly flattering.
  7. Provide specific examples of the strengths and weaknesses and avoid generalities.
  8. Provide a rationale for your critique. Offer support for your critique from the literature.
  9. Suggest modifications for future studies. Provide suggestions, with support from the literature, for how a different approach might have solved a problem the researcher did not address.
  10. Address the feasibility of replicating the study. Has sufficient detail been provided to allow replication?
  11. Discuss the usefulness of the findings for practice. Have the findings been linked to research findings from previous studies?
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