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ORIGINAL ARTICLE

Critical appraisal of published research papers – A reinforcing tool for research methodology: Questionnaire-based study


1 Department of Pharmacology and Therapeutics, Seth GS Medical College and KEM Hospital, Mumbai, Maharashtra, India
2 Department of Clinical Trials, Serum Institute of India, Pune, Maharashtra, India

Correspondence Address:
Raakhi Tripathi,
Department of Pharmacology and Therapeutics, 1st Floor, College Building, Seth GS Medical College and KEM Hospital, Acharya Donde Marg, Parel, Mumbai - 400 002, Maharashtra
India
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

DOI: 10.4103/picr.PICR_107_18

Background and Objectives: Critical appraisal of published research papers is routinely conducted as a journal club (JC) activity in pharmacology departments of various medical colleges across Maharashtra, and it forms an important part of their postgraduate curriculum. The objective of this study was to evaluate the perception of pharmacology postgraduate students and teachers toward use of critical appraisal as a reinforcing tool for research methodology. Evaluation of performance of the in-house pharmacology postgraduate students in the critical appraisal activity constituted secondary objective of the study. Materials and Methods: The study was conducted in two parts. In Part I, a cross-sectional questionnaire-based evaluation on perception toward critical appraisal activity was carried out among pharmacology postgraduate students and teachers. In Part II of the study, JC score sheets of 2nd- and 3rd-year pharmacology students over the past 4 years were evaluated. Results: One hundred and twenty-seven postgraduate students and 32 teachers participated in Part I of the study. About 118 (92.9%) students and 28 (87.5%) faculties considered the critical appraisal activity to be beneficial for the students. JC score sheet assessments suggested that there was a statistically significant improvement in overall scores obtained by postgraduate students (n = 25) in their last JC as compared to the first JC. Conclusion: Journal article criticism is a crucial tool to develop a research attitude among postgraduate students. Participation in the JC activity led to the improvement in the skill of critical appraisal of published research articles, but this improvement was not educationally relevant.
    
 

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