Searching and critiquing the research literature
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Searching and critiquing the research literature

Ann Wakefield Professor of nursing education, School of Nursing and Midwifery, University of Manchester, Manchester

This article explores how to search and critique the research literature. This involves explaining how to generate a robust literature review question, search databases in the most effective manner and produce a robust analysis of the literature. The article also outlines how a novice literature reviewer might develop the skills required to undertake a critical analysis of the available evidence. In this manner, the reader is able to present a coherent debate on the state of the literature and how this might be used to construct a comprehensive rationale for why further research or analysis of clinical practice may be needed in relation to a particular topic of interest.

Nursing Standard. 28, 39, 49-57. doi: 10.7748/ns.28.39.49.e8867

Peer review

This article has been subject to double blind peer review

Received: 12 February 2014

Accepted: 20 March 2014