This article is based on a paper presented at the 2005 IFLA World Library and Information Congress. It brings together the findings to date of the author's research project on research quality, to address issues related to research quality as a basis for the use of research evidence in evidence‐based practice.
The methods used include a literature review, a review of existing models for evaluating research evidence, and a pilot project based on a qualitative, naturalistic research design that employed content analysis and statistical techniques.
While a number of strategies have been developed for the evaluation of published research, all have their limitations. The same is true for the models that have been proposed for assisting practitioners to evaluate research evidence as a basis for evidence‐based practice. The literature review identified four different approaches to the assessment of quality in research reporting. The pilot study identified three different “value perceptions” held by experienced research evaluators that affected their research evaluations.
Although practitioners need to be able to evaluate research reports as a basis for evidence‐based practice, there is currently no one strategy that can be recommended as a fail‐safe tool to support this activity.
The article highlights the variety and limitations of existing strategies or models for evaluating research quality and suggests possible steps forward.
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