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Reviewing Research Papers:

(after Rudestam and Newton 1992: 50-51 and Silverman 200: 12)

Authors:

Year:

Title of article:

Volume: Issue: Page nos:
(If a book, then publisher and city of publication)

1 Conceptualization and theoretical basis of the work

(a) What is the problem or issue being investigated?

(b) How clearly are the major concepts defined/explained (are they fully stated or
summarized?)

(c) Is there some practical relevance in this work (research practice or industrial practice)?

(d) Is the connection to an existing body of knowledge or theory clear?

(e) What is the theoretical basis of this work, i.e. knowledge domain, for example, where
would you expect to find this work in the library (classification number)?

2 Analytical framework and hypotheses

(a) Is there a clearly stated research question?

(b) Are there hypotheses? Are they clearly stated? If there are not hypotheses, is the paper a
review, case study, contribution to theory development or some other type of study?

(c) If there are hypotheses, are the relationships between the main variables explicit and
reasonable? If these are not hypotheses, is there adequate development of theory?

(d) If there are hypotheses, are they stated in a way that makes them testable and the results, no
matter what they are, interpretable? If there are no hypotheses, are there clear indications as
to the significance to theoretical development.

3 Research Design

(a) Are the methods of research appropriate to the nature of the question being asked? Does the
sensitivity of the methods match the needs of the research question?

(b) What is the type of research design?

(c) Could the design be improved? How?

(d) Is there a clear account of the criteria used for selecting the focus (unit) of analysis and the
cases chosen?

Keywords (yours, not the authors):
(e) Does the research design isolate what is being measured from other effects? Are the
variables clearly and reasonably operationalized (what is measured and how)? Are the
reliability and validity of the measures discussed?

(f) Is the population appropriate for the research question being studied? Is the sample
specified and appropriate? Can the results be reasonably generalized on the basis of this
sample?

4 Results and discussion

(a) Are the data appropriate for the study? Was the data collection and record keeping
systematic?

(b) Are the statistical techniques appropriate and adequately described? Is reference made to
accepted procedures for analysis?

(c) Are control variables adequately handled in the data analysis? Are there other control
variables that were not considered but should have been?

(d) How systematic is the analysis?

(e) Is there adequate discussion of how themes, concept and categories were derived from the
data?

5 Conclusions

(a) Do the conclusions flow from the work that has been reported?

(b) Are the conclusions of the study consistent with the results of the analysis? (If there is no
numerical analysis, are the conclusions consistent with the development of the argument in
the paper?)

(c) Are alternative conclusions that are consistent with the data discussed and accounted for?

(d) Are the theoretical and practical implications of the results adequately discussed? Are the
theoretical implications adequately connected to the literature discussed at the beginning of
the paper?

(e) Are the limitations of the study noted (in terms of parameters of the research and
applicability of the findings)?

(f) Is there adequate discussion of the evidence for and against the researchers arguments?

(g) Is a clear distinction made between the data and their interpretation?

6 Summary

(a) What is your overall assessment of the adequacy of the study for exploring the research
problem?

(b) What is your overall assessment of the contribution of the study to this area or research?