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Systematic Reviews

Selecting and Appraising Data

This model advocated by Caldwell, Henshaw and Taylor (2011, p.4)  has been advocated as a method for analysing research.  You may wish to create yourself a simple form and rate your articles against each of the criteria.  Some researchers choose only to include research that scores highly on their rating scheme.  


Questions to ask for yourself:

  • Does the title reflect the content
  • Are the authors credible (who are they and where do they work?)
  • Does the abstract summarise the contents
  • Rationale for undertaking the research clearly outlined
  • Is the literature review comprehensive and up-to-date
  • Are the aims clearly stated
  • Ethical issues identified and addressed?


methodology diagram

  (Caldwell, Henshaw and Taylor 2011, p 4)




CALDWELL K., L. HENSHAW and G. TAYLOR,  2011.  Developing a framework for critiquing health research: an early evaluation. Nurse education today 31(8) 1-7


RefWorks is a useful tool for reviews:

  • You can view the abstract of the article in the imported record by changing the View to "full view"
  • You can import the full document into RefWorks
  • There are tools to de-duplicate your results 

Unfortunately most databases - eResources only allow you to export a limited numbers of articles at one time  

Rayyan - Screening Software

Rayyan is a free software package that allows you to screen titles and abstracts for your systematic review.

You will need to register - there is plenty of help on how to use it.  You can import/export to RefWorks via  Refman or Bibtex