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How to Critique a Research Article

What Is an Article Critique Assignment?

❶Will a review paper be published by a good journal?

The Importance of Gathering Enough Evidence

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Once you’ve agreed to complete a review, how do you approach the paper?
How to Critique

Write the publication year in parentheses followed by a period. Type the name of the article title in sentence case followed by a period. Then, write the name of the journal in italics and title case, a comma, volume number, a comma, page numbers and a period.

The volume number should also be in italics, but all text that follows should have plain formatting. Choosing and using citation and bibliographic database software. Diabetes Educator, 34, Fitzalan Gorman has more than 10 years of academic and commercial experience in research and writing.

She has written speeches and text for CEOs, company presidents and leaders of major nonprofit organizations. Gorman has published for professional cycling teams and various health and fitness websites. Use our citation tool to automatically generate your bibliography for any website. How to Write an Article Critique. How to Present a Journal Article. How to Annotate a Newspaper Article. I often refer back to my annotated version of the online paper.

I usually differentiate between major and minor criticisms and word them as directly and concisely as possible. When I recommend revisions, I try to give clear, detailed feedback to guide the authors.

Even if a manuscript is rejected for publication, most authors can benefit from suggestions. I try to stick to the facts, so my writing tone tends toward neutral. Before submitting a review, I ask myself whether I would be comfortable if my identity as a reviewer was known to the authors. My reviews tend to take the form of a summary of the arguments in the paper, followed by a summary of my reactions and then a series of the specific points that I wanted to raise.

If I find the paper especially interesting and even if I am going to recommend rejection , I tend to give a more detailed review because I want to encourage the authors to develop the paper or, maybe, to do a new paper along the lines suggested in the review.

My tone is one of trying to be constructive and helpful even though, of course, the authors might not agree with that characterization.

I try to act as a neutral, curious reader who wants to understand every detail. If there are things I struggle with, I will suggest that the authors revise parts of their paper to make it more solid or broadly accessible.

I want to give them honest feedback of the same type that I hope to receive when I submit a paper. I start with a brief summary of the results and conclusions as a way to show that I have understood the paper and have a general opinion.

I always comment on the form of the paper, highlighting whether it is well written, has correct grammar, and follows a correct structure. Then, I divide the review in two sections with bullet points, first listing the most critical aspects that the authors must address to better demonstrate the quality and novelty of the paper and then more minor points such as misspelling and figure format.

When you deliver criticism, your comments should be honest but always respectful and accompanied with suggestions to improve the manuscript. I make a decision after drafting my review. I usually sit on the review for a day and then reread it to be sure it is balanced and fair before deciding anything. I only make a recommendation to accept, revise, or reject if the journal specifically requests one.

The decision is made by the editor, and my job as a reviewer is to provide a nuanced and detailed report on the paper to support the editor. The decision comes along during reading and making notes. If there are serious mistakes or missing parts, then I do not recommend publication.

I usually write down all the things that I noticed, good and bad, so my decision does not influence the content and length of my review. In my experience, most papers go through several rounds of revisions before I would recommend them for publication. However, if the mechanism being tested does not really provide new knowledge, or if the method and study design are of insufficient quality, then my hopes for a manuscript are rather low.

The length and content of my reviews generally do not relate to the outcome of my decisions. I usually write rather lengthy reviews at the first round of the revision process, and these tend to get shorter as the manuscript then improves in quality. Publication is not a binary recommendation.

And we never know what findings will amount to in a few years; many breakthrough studies were not recognized as such for many years. So I can only rate what priority I believe the paper should receive for publication today.

If the research presented in the paper has serious flaws, I am inclined to recommend rejection, unless the shortcoming can be remedied with a reasonable amount of revising. Also, I take the point of view that if the author cannot convincingly explain her study and findings to an informed reader, then the paper has not met the burden for acceptance in the journal. My recommendations are inversely proportional to the length of my reviews. Short reviews translate into strong recommendations and vice versa.

This varies widely, from a few minutes if there is clearly a major problem with the paper to half a day if the paper is really interesting but there are aspects that I don't understand.

Occasionally, there are difficulties with a potentially publishable article that I think I can't properly assess in half a day, in which case I will return the paper to the journal with an explanation and a suggestion for an expert who might be closer to that aspect of the research.

It usually takes me a few hours. Most of the time is spent closely reading the paper and taking notes. Once I have the notes, writing the review itself generally takes less than an hour. It can take me quite a long time to write a good review, sometimes a full day of work and sometimes even longer. The detailed reading and the sense-making process, in particular, takes a long time. I like to use two sittings, even when I am pretty sure of my conclusions. Waiting another day always seems to improve the review.

Normally, a peer review takes me 1 or 2 days, including reading the supporting information. I almost always do it in one sitting, anything from 1 to 5 hours depending on the length of the paper. In my experience, the submission deadline for reviews usually ranges between 3 working days to up to 3 weeks. Altogether, it usually takes me more than a day. Many reviewers are not polite enough. It's OK for a paper to say something that you don't agree with.

Also, if you don't accept a review invitation, give her a few names for suggested reviewers, especially senior Ph. In my experience, they are unlikely to write a poor quality review; they might be more likely to accept the invitation, as senior scientists are typically overwhelmed with review requests; and the opportunity to review a manuscript can help support their professional development.

The paper reviewing process can help you form your own scientific opinion and develop critical thinking skills. It will also provide you with an overview of the new advances in the field and help you when writing and submitting your own articles.

So although peer reviewing definitely takes some effort, in the end it will be worth it. So if you have not fully understood something in the paper, do not hesitate to ask for clarification. It will help you make the right decision. Remember that a review is not about whether one likes a certain piece of work, but whether the research is valid and tells us something new.

Another common mistake is writing an unfocused review that is lost in the details. You can better highlight the major issues that need to be dealt with by restructuring the review, summarizing the important issues upfront, or adding asterisks. I would really encourage other scientists to take up peer-review opportunities whenever possible. Reviewing is a great learning experience and an exciting thing to do. I also think it is our duty as researchers to write good reviews.

After all, we are all in it together. The soundness of the entire peer-review process depends on the quality of the reviews that we write. As a junior researcher, it may feel a little weird or daunting to critique someone's completed work. Just pretend that it's your own research and figure out what experiments you would do and how you would interpret the data. Bear in mind that one of the most dangerous traps a reviewer can fall into is failing to recognize and acknowledge their own bias.

To me, it is biased to reach a verdict on a paper based on how groundbreaking or novel the results are, for example. Such judgments have no place in the assessment of scientific quality, and they encourage publication bias from journals as well as bad practices from authors to produce attractive results by cherry picking.

Although I believe that all established professors should be required to sign, the fact is that some authors can hold grudges against reviewers. We like to think of scientists as objective truth-seekers, but we are all too human and academia is intensely political, and a powerful author who receives a critical review from a more junior scientist could be in a position to do great harm to the reviewer's career prospects.

It is necessary to maintain decorum: One should review the paper justly and entirely on its merit, even if it comes from a competing research group. Finally, there are occasions where you get extremely exciting papers that you might be tempted to share with your colleagues, but you have to resist the urge and maintain strict confidentiality. At least early on, it is a good idea to be open to review invitations so that you can see what unfinished papers look like and get familiar with the review process.

Many journals send the decision letters to the reviewers. Reading these can give you insights into how the other reviewers viewed the paper, and into how editors evaluate reviews and make decisions about rejection versus acceptance or revise and resubmit.

At the start of my career, I wasted quite a lot of energy feeling guilty about being behind in my reviewing. Each one of the body paragraphs should expand on a new point of the article. Since this is not a 5-paragraph essay the article critique will be much longer! You may recommend further research, which will shed new light on the issue and will improve the work of the writer you just critiqued.

Do not skip this step! The article critique is a serious project, which should showcase your capacity of critical thinking and argumentation. If you fail to revise it, even the slightest flaw will ruin the impression for the reader. During this process, pay attention to the citations. Did you reference all sources properly? Proofread the bibliography, too! This is not a simple project. In fact, the article critique may be one of the most complex academic writing challenges for students. It teaches you how to use the work of another writer without being completely convinced in their point of view.

It teaches you how to question and check their arguments. So pay attention to this assignment; the results are well worth the effort.

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Here is a really good example of a scholary research critique written by a student in EDRS The student who submitted this paper last semester earned a on his critique.

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How to Critique a Research Article | Ausmed | Let's briefly examine some basic research and pointers on how to perform a literature review. If you've man.

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2) Example summary and critique of primary research paper The fertilized eggs of marine snails are often enclosed in complex, leathery egg capsules with 30 or more embryos being confined within each capsule. Step'by-step guide to critiquing research. Part 1: quantitative research Michaei Coughian, Patricia Cronin, Frances Ryan advanced reviewers to critique research studies (Tanner, ). These tools generally ask questions that can help the Research reports should be well written, grammatically.

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 Week 4 Research Paper Critique Ashley N. Scott Kaplan University NU Nursing Research Robin Lockhart, MSN, RN, CN Week 4 Research Paper Critique When critiquing a research paper, you are evaluating the research and the argument made by the author. To evaluate. No matter what your major is, you will probably be expected to write a critique paper at some point. For psychology students, critiquing a professional paper is a great way to learn more about psychology articles, writing, and the research process itself.