The Critical Assessment of Research: Traditional and New Methods of Evaluation

Research output: Contribution to journalBook/Film/Article reviewpeer-review


It has been said that “science gives us knowledge but takes away meaning”. This book is about a very specific issue related to both knowledge and meaning – how can those who are not professional researchers not only understand but also trust research outputs?

The book is written with the intention of helping general readers to understand and evaluate research outputs regardless of the particular topic or domain. Understanding research, as the book persuasively demonstrates through a series of well thought through case studies, is far from being a purely intellectual exercise for the curious. This is a very timely theme with impact and value of research being scrutinized on both governmental and academic levels. In addition to such wider societal concerns, authors argue that the misunderstanding of research – and indeed cases of compromised research outputs – could have a serious influence on individual human lives, ranging from financial losses to potentially dangerous medical treatments. Hence, personal skills to undertake the critical assessment of research outcomes become an important part of the information literacy skill set. Although understanding research is not a generally expressed information need, it could be triggered by life circumstances that result in a significant change in the information behaviour (Moore, 2000).
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)723-735
Number of pages13
JournalLibrary Review
Issue number8
Publication statusPublished - 6 Sept 2011


  • research evaluation
  • critical assessment


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