When appraising an article critically, one has to check for the strengths and weaknesses of the research in order to determine its validity. This involves a thorough examination of the techniques and methodologies used. A person appraising the research determines how trustworthy it is and its impact and relevance. Measurements are important in quantitative studies thus the instruments used are very important to the researchers. In addition, the researchers have to be able to apply their study in other situations. To ensure validity in research, the instrument has to measure what it has been set out to measure. The results of the research should not be influenced by external factors such as bias or chance but they have to come from the carefully designed facts and methodologies in the study. Validity leads to reliability.
Reliability determines if the results are consistent. Reliable research is one in which the results show consistency over time. The population used in the research should represent an accurate representation for the research to be reliable and other researchers interested in the study should be able to reproduce the research using the same methodology (Golafshani, 2003). Another factor to consider when appraising quantitative research concerns its applicability. Researchers have to be able to apply the results obtained from their study to other situations. They have to be able to fulfill the purpose of their research. For instance, researchers dealing with health issues should be able to apply the results of their research to their patients. Researchers have to be able to apply the results of their research in a practical way.
Ensuring reliability is important because it means that other researcher can conduct similar studies and expect similar results. This is important in determining the effectiveness of the research. It is also important in determining the validity since it makes it possible to detect any flaws. In other studies, the researchers can be able to determine whether the initial research was objective. When research is reliable, there is reduced chance of encountering random errors. However, reliability does not determine whether research is valid. On the other hand, researchers cannot have validity in their work without having reliability (Rubin & Babbie, 2009). Researchers dedicate a lot of tome to their work. They are interested in fulfilling the goals and objectives that they have set for their study. It would not be worthwhile for them to conduct research without being able to apply their findings practically.
to ensure that their research findings are applicable. The possibility of
discovering what they are looking for drives them towards conducting the
studies in the first place. They take a lot of time preparing their research
design and conducting research on the most appropriate methodologies and
techniques to use in their research to ensure that it will be applicable. In
some cases, additional research is done to further and enhance ones
understanding of a particular issue. This leads to more research and knowledge.
Without the drive and motivation they need to apply their results practically,
researchers would barely proceed with their studies. Therefore, although it is
important to consider other factors when conducting research, the most
important element for researchers is applicability. However, when appraising
quantitative research, it is important to examine all the factors to ensure
that the research is valid, objective, and free from error. It has to meet the
scientific standards and help in advancing knowledge on the issue
Golafshani, N. (2003). Understanding reliability and validity in qualitative research. The Qualitative Report, 8(4), 597-607
Rubin, A., & Babbie, E. (2009). Essential research methods for social work. New York, NY: Cengage Learning