Journal Article Research Critique Van de Berghe et al (2001). Intensive insulin therapy in critically ill patients, New England Journal of Medicine, 345:1359-1367.
Fairly critiquing an investigator's research endeavor is a task that must be taken seriously. Although it is quite easy to have an opinion of another's research it is something quite different to be able to evaluate the research activity in terms of topic specificity and soundness, intent or purpose, data analysis, and informational importance. When embarking upon a critical analysis of another's work the reviewer must, at all times, adhere to the basic principle of prudent evaluation; namely, evaluating the structure of the research upon which scientific conclusion are drawn. More specifically, the function of a research report (article) is to inform readers about the problem being investigated, the methods used to solve the problem, the results of the investigation, and the conclusions being inferred from the results. The printed manuscript is to inform the reader, as expeditiously as possible, what was done, the outcome of the doing, and the investigator's conclusion.
In addition to the above, research reports must be succinct, objective, and crystalline. The ultimate test of an excellent research report is in its ability to be replicated by those who read it. If this criterion cannot be met, then the report is inadequate. The remainder of this review will be an analysis of a particular professional article wherein a group of critically ill patients were randomly assigned to two treatment groups (intensive insulin therapy and standard insulin therapy) to determine if normal blood glucose levels would improve the prognosis by use of insulin therapy.