Step 5: Focusing on the research question and the experimental/observational study to identify the following:
Is this claim based on an observational study or an experiment? And which type?
If an experiment, how strong is the internal validity of the study? (Any threats to a causal chain?)
If an observational study, what confounders could exist, and were they explored well in the data?
How strong is the external validity of the study (do the conclusions generalize to a wider population, setting, and time?)
Have the authors cherry-picked data to support their claim? (Graphs and tables are clearly and honestly represented, all pertinent information is available, if a drug study all side effects are reported!)
Does the argument stem from an objective data source, or simply anecdotal evidence?
Might these authors have any confirmation bias? (Already biased toward a certain conclusion? Who sponsored or funded this study?)
And as a final consideration… am I ready to make an important decision from this data? What further research remains to be done?
Step 6: Fill the Project Report template with your answers to the above questions.
Submit your report to the submission box on Compass by 11:59 PM on Friday, 07/10/2020.