View Full Version : How to read a journal article

08-22-13, 11:44 AM
A good article titled How to Read a Journal Article might be of interest and worth reading. It is written for professionals but most of it would be helpful for laypersons also since we have a number of articles cited on the forum.

The topics examined.

1. Who funded the study?

2. Are the patients being studied similar to the patients you treat?

3. What type of study design is it?

4. What are the identified primary and secondary outcomes of the study?

5. How did the study deal with patients who dropped out?

6. Are the results both statistically and clinically significant?

FYI Psychcenteral is a reputable psych site. The owner John Grohol has a very good reputation for what it is worth.


08-22-13, 11:48 AM
Wow! I didn't realize they had a whole website dedicated to professionals. Their site geared towards consumers is one of the best, IMHO. It offers a range of perspectives from different people (the blogs do seem to vary a bit in quality, however), but the stuff on the main site is top notch.

08-22-13, 01:06 PM
It's a good article, but since it's geared towards professionals, it doesn't address the problems that laypersons have (above and beyond being able to access only the abstracts!) Too bad this didn't come up two days ago. . .I found several articles about looking critically at science (and pseudoscience) but now I don't know where they were. I'll take a look later.

I think what I like best is that it demonstrates that scientists themselves are encouraged to think critically about research in their own fields. In journals and the blogosphere, you actually see plenty of this. Researchers have a vested interest in criticizing other research, and it's sometimes truly amazing how deftly some of them take down something weak point by point. You learn a lot from watching that, too.

08-22-13, 02:55 PM
Aha! Found it! While the title is "What's the difference between science and pseudoscience," ( it's also a good article on the process between observation and conclusion, and how to spot flaws in the various steps. There are a few good links to similar information at the bottom, as well.

08-22-13, 04:48 PM

Very good article, thanks for finding it.