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Medicine: Critical Appraisal

Useful guides

These recommended resources will help you to critically evaluate the journal articles you are reading.

YouTube series from Cochrane on how to critically appraise different studies using the CASP Checklist:

Critical appraisal modules

Critical Appraisal tools

These are checklists you can use to carry out a critical appraisal.

They are free to download at the following links. Remember to select a tool that is appropriate for the study design!

Peer review

Peer review, or refereeing, is the process by which a journal article manuscript undergoes critical evaluation from 2-3 other experts (working in the same field as the original researcher) before the journal editor makes a decision on whether to publish that article. 

You can find out more about peer review from the links below.

Pre-publication servers (rXiv)

Pre-print is a version of an article's manuscript published online before peer-review. Common servers where you can find pre-print publications are the 'rXiv' archive, such as MedRXiv and PsychRxiv. 


1. As they have not been peer-reviewed, they might present flaws or bias that would not be accepted in a journal. 

2. You will need to reference them as pre-publication, following the correct template on