These assignments are helping to sharpen your skills regarding evidence informed health policy. Now that you have compiled background information and completed your problem assessment paper, it is time to use the current research articles and reports to help inform your recommendations. We compared the previous assignment to using binoculars. This assignment is similar to using a microscope. You have very specific question(s) and you would like articles and reports that focus on specific programs, initiatives, interventions, etc. which support the recommendations you plan to make.
To efficiently assess the relevancy and quality of an article, you can initially review certain pieces of it in a certain order:
Reading in this order not only helps you quickly determine if the article is, in fact, worthy of closer attention, but it also gives your brain a roadmap of what to expect if you decide to read the entire article. This technique can help you better retain the information you read.
Source: Scientific Papers and Presentations, 3rd ed. (2012) by Martha Davis, Kaaron Joann Davis, pg. 39
Identifying articles on your topic of interest is just one part of finding appropriate articles. You must also constantly assess the credibility of what you're finding. Even if you've confirmed an article is peer-reviewed, you still look at it closely. The following questions can help guide your critical assessment of the articles you find:
One other important point: When we set out to find articles on a topic, we typically have preconceived notions or hypotheses (either formal or informal) and often expect the literature to report certain findings that support our suspicion. However, it's important to keep an open mind while searching! Don't discount articles simply because they are not in line with your thinking. Evaluation of the literature needs to be "fair and balanced." :-)
Source: Scientific Papers and Presentations, 3rd ed. (2012) by Martha Davis, Kaaron Joann Davis, pg. 39-42