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A critical appraisal tool for library and information research

Lindsay Glynn (MLIS Health Sciences Library, Memorial University of Newfoundland, St John's, Canada)

Library Hi Tech

ISSN: 0737-8831

Article publication date: 1 July 2006




As the interest in evidence‐based librarianship increases, so does the need for a standardized practice methodology. One of the most essential components of EBL, critical appraisal, has not been fully established within the library literature. The purpose of this paper is to outline and describe a thorough critical appraisal tool and process that can be applied to library and information research in an evidence based setting.


To create a critical appraisal tool for EBL, it was essential to look at other models. Exhaustive searches were carried out in several databases. Numerous articles were retrieved which provided “evidence” or “best practice” based on a critical appraisal. The initial tool, when created, was distributed to several librarians who provided comments to the author regarding its exhaustiveness, ease of use and applicability and was subsequently revised to reflect their suggestions and comments.


The critical appraisal tool provides a thorough, generic list of questions that one would ask when attempting to determine the validity, applicability and appropriateness of a study.


More rigorous research and publishing will be encouraged as more librarians and information professionals adopt the practice of EBL and utilize this critical appraisal model



Glynn, L. (2006), "A critical appraisal tool for library and information research", Library Hi Tech, Vol. 24 No. 3, pp. 387-399.



Emerald Group Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2006, Emerald Group Publishing Limited

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