"Critical appraisal is the process of carefully and systematically examining research to judge its trustworthiness, and its value and relevance in a particular context. It is an essential skill for evidence-based medicine because it allows clinicians to find and use research evidence reliably and efficiently" (Burls, 2009).
For animal studies:
Grey literature is the term used to describe literature that is not formally published as a book or journal article (Higgins, 2011), including:
The critical appraisal checklists listed further up the page can be used to evaluate research study designs such as systematic reviews, RCTs, cohort studies, etc., regardless if the research is formally published or otherwise provided as a conference paper, pre-print, etc. Evaluating studies in the form of grey literature becomes more difficult when limited information is provided, which can be the case for conference abstracts, clinical trial data etc.
Grey Literature Checklists
|Author/ publisher||Who is the author, are they who they claim to be?||
Does the author/host have an agenda?
|Host/sponsor||Does the hosting site have a sponsor?||
Is the information shared for commercial purposes?
Does the site sponsor have a political or philosophical agenda?
|Facts and references||Are references included?||
Are references to research evidence?
Is the information based on research/data/analysis or is it opinion piece?
Can you verify some cited sources, facts?
How current are the references?
|Currency||Is a publication or revised date provided?||Is the information current?|
Burls, A. (2009). What is critical appraisal? Hayward Medical Communications.
Ontario Agency for Health Protection and Promotion (2015). Public Health Ontario guide to appraising grey literature. Available from: https://www.publichealthontario.ca/-/media/documents/appraising-grey-lit-guide.pdf?la=en
Tyndall, J. (2010). AACODS Checklist. Flinders University. Available from http://dspace.flinders.edu.au/dspace/