Skip to Main Content

Library Services

  1. Library Services Home
  2. Resources
  3. Support
  4. About
  5. My Library

Literature searching and finding evidence

Introductory guide for School of Health & Psychological Sciences students

Analysing your search results

Once you have carried out a search, you need to screen your results for relevancy and then critically appraise and analyse the remaining articles.

Screening your results for relevance to your topic

Screening means analysing the results you find from your literature search to determine whether or not they answer the question or task your research topic has set:

You should only include results that meet your inclusion criteria: if something fails to meet any of the criteria, it should be excluded:

  1. Go through the titles and abstracts of your results: don't be too strict in defining what meets your criteria at the beginning as titles and abstracts offer only limited information
  2. Get the full-text of all studies which you have left and screen them more closely
  3. Keep a record of any studies you have excluded as you may need to give details about these in the methodology section.

Identifying the types of studies you have found

Identify the type of study you've found in order to select the appropriate critical appraisal tool.

Reading the abstracts should enable you to determine the type of study:

Primary Research

Secondary Research

Critical appraisal


A number of checklists have been developed to help with the process of critically appraising articles from various types of studies. Here are some examples:

Interactive resources