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MLS 453: Clinical Chemistry

WSU Medical Laboratory Sciences Dept. Requirements / Criteria for Evaluation of Journal Articles

Title of article

  • Needs to be included

Type of article

  • Does the article contain original information?
  • Is the article a review of previously published information?
  • Is the article educational-based containing a compilation of general information about a subject?
  • Is the article a peer-reviewed article? (Note: Peer-reviewed articles involve the author submitting an article to the editor of a publication – then the editor distributes it to experts in the field for final approval before the article is published)

Source of article

  • Scholarly journal, trade magazine, popular magazine?

Currency of article

  • How current is the article? After identifying the needs of your topic, examine the timeliness of the information (Note: Older information is okay if it is still relevant)

Purpose of article

  • Why was the article written?
  • What were the researchers/authors trying to answer?
  • Is the intent to inform or entertain?
  • Was the purpose of the article achieved?

Intended audience

  • What type of reader was the author writing for? General public? Peers in the field? (Note: This ties into the type of journal)

Organization of article/presentation format

  • Is the information focused and organized?
  • Is the information presented in a manner that is easy to understand?
  • Are vocabulary and sentence structure appropriate?
  • Are terms or abbreviations used in the article defined for greater understanding?

Article usefulness/coverage of article

  • Is the information relevant to your topic?
  • Does the article cover the topic comprehensively, partially, or provide an overview only?
  • Can the reader form an educated opinion or decision based on the information that was provided in the article?


  • Was there a specific correlation, association, result, or conclusion made as a result of the article being written or perhaps the original study that the article was written about?

Use of illustrations/statistical data

  • Were any graphs, charts, or photos used to help illustrate concepts – if so, were they clear and easy to understand?

Bias associated with article

  • Was the information presented without bias?
  • Did the author(s) remain neutral in achieving goals of the article by providing factual information versus opinions or personal viewpoint?

Accuracy of article information

  • References for source material?
  • Appropriate use of footnotes?
  • Is information based on proven facts or opinion?
  • Can you find information on the same subject from other sources as well?

Author Information

  • Expert in the field? What field?
  • Affiliated with reputable university, government agency, or organization?
  • Has author published before?
  • Has the author listed contact information?

Important Notes:

  • Use this list of criteria as a guideline, not a specific requirement, because some criteria may not be available or relevant to your article
  • “Yes” or “No” answers, or short, one-word answers are not an acceptable way to address the questions under each category. You need to explain your answers. For example, “Is the information focused and organized? Instead of a “Yes” or “No” answer, you need to elaborate. For instance, an article is often organized into sections for easier reading, so explain how it is broken up. Or many times, when complicated medical terms or acronyms are used, the article will have a separate section explaining what these things mean.
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