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Study Skills

Systematic Reviews: Critical Appraisal

Critical Appraisal

There are a number of tools and checklists available to help assess the quality of studies to be included in a review. Studies included in a systematic review should be assessed for their quality and only good and reliable studies should be included.


These are some books which you might find useful when critically appraising research. Click on the link to access the iDiscover record for the book.

Image of the book How to read a paper      

iDiscover link  

Image of The pocket guide to critical appraisal

iDiscover link



A person writing a checklist on paper

Image credit: StockSnap on Pixabay (CC0 license).

  • CASP — Critical Appraisal Skills Programme includes checklists for systematic reviews, RCTs, qualitative studies etc.
  • RoBiS — Risk of Bias in Systematic Reviews
  • RoB 2 — Cochrane risk-of-bias tool for randomized trials
  • AACODS — Checklist for appraising grey literature


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Medical Library Team
University of Cambridge Medical Library
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School of Clinical Medicine
Cambridge Biomedical Campus
01223 336750

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