Describe the results (but not their broader implications). Were the results significant? Which ones?
Why is the proposed research the logical next step (that is—what rationale and motivation) is there for this research?
What previous research (not theories) have been conducted on this topic? How do these previous studies relate to the current research question?
Focus on the experiments cited in the introduction. In your own words, give a short summary of what has already been done and then explain how those findings relate to the current research question.
8. Why is the proposed research the logical next step (that is—what rationale and motivation) is there for this research? What hole in psychological knowledge is this study following?
Restate/summarize the authors’ rationale for the research in your own words. How is the current research question a logical progression of the previous findings? Answering this question will require that you think about the authors’ rationale for their research. They should have made a strong case for why this is the logical next step as well as pointed out that answering this question will fill in an important gap in the literature.
9. How is the research question operationalized? (First, identify the abstract constructs being studied. Next identify the concrete way these are being observed or measured. This should include your IV and DV.)
A construct is an abstract explanatory variable that is not directly observable (e.g., memory). The concrete way the construct is measured will point you to the dependent variable (DV). For example, if the paper is concerned with memory, the DV may be the number of items recalled. The independent variable (IV) could be the amount of sleep each participant was allowed the night before the test. Remember that we cannot directly measure many of the constructs that are studied in psychology, so it is important that we identify how they are being operationalized in each research study.
10. What is the research design? (I.e., between or within subjects, what type of statistical tests were used, what were the levels of each variable?)
This information will be in the methods section of your paper. Be sure to provide enough detail to describe how the study was designed.
11. Describe the results (but not their broader implications). Were the results significant? Which ones? Do these support or not support the hypothesis?
Describe the results in your own words. For example: Group X was able to recall significantly more words than Group Y. This finding supports the hypothesis that manipulation Y would reduce recall.
12. Outline the discussion.
Divide the discussion into thematic groups with their own subheadings. This should probably begin with a summary of the results and the previous sources. How many sources are used in the general discussion? Summarize the sources used and how they relate to the discussion and the research question.
13. What limitations are mentioned? Why are these limitations theoretically interesting?
Limitations can be found in the discussion section of the paper. If a limitation is that they didn’t have X control group, then explain in your own words why that is important. Does does it change the interpretation of the findings?
14. What future research is anticipated? Why is the future research theoretically interesting?
Describe in your own words the future research that the author anticipates. Discuss why these studies would be of theoretical importance. How would they further our understanding of the construct or theory in question?
15. What is the Eigenfactor of the journal that published this article? Is it high or low? Do you think that the impact factor influences the quality of the article (or vise-versa)?
The Eigenfactor is one measure of the impact of a journal. If you are unfamiliar with Eigenfactors, please see this website for a short description. You can find the Eigenfactor for your article at the Eigenfactor website. Type in the name of your journal, find it in the list of results and report the EF value. Remember the total of all Eigenfactors is 100 and the highest individual Eigenfactor currently belongs to Science (1.22).
16. How many times has this article been cited?
There are many ways to find this information. Some database site will give you this information or you can go to Web of Science and select a “Cited Reference Search”. This information should give you a rough idea of the impact this article has had on the field.
Topic of Research Paper:_______
1. APA reference of article being reviewed
2. What is the research problem that is being investigated? What is the purpose of the research being conducted?