SOWK 546: The Science of Social Work: Appraising Research

Research guide for students in the course SOWK 546. Introduction to the role of scientific inquiry in advancing social work goals.

Appraising Research

Why do we need to appraise research? 

When appraising research, we are typically looking at quality, validity and sample size. Different types of research methodologies may require looking at additional aspects of the research. For example, with qualitative research, some key appraisal questions are:

  • Is the study relevant to my research?
  • Are measures valid and reliable?
  • Are data and statistical methods adequately described?
  • Can the results be generalized? How do they relate to previous studies?
  • How do the results relate to other studies?
  • What other factors might have influenced the outcomes?

​**Reviewing research. (2014). In Shaw, I., & Holland, S. Doing qualitative research in social work (pp. 62-79). 55 City Road, London: SAGE Publications, Ltd doi: 10.4135/9781473906006

Use the resources below, along with course materials and lecture notes, for guidance on appraising research.