Critical reading guide for scientific articles

The structure below is intended to guide beginning students in a critical and careful reading of scientific articles in the area of ​​Health Sciences and Biological Sciences.

1. Publication information

  • a. Examine the study title, authors, institutions, countries, journal and date of publication.

  • b. Identify the type of publication (data article, review, comment, technical notes, editorial).

2. Summary and introduction

  • a. Do the authors justify the study?

  • b. Can you identify the purpose of the work?

3. Methodology

  • a. Were animals used in the study? What is the species and strain?

  • b. Was the study performed on humans? Were there any criteria for inclusion of these individuals (examples: gender, age, score)?

  • c. Did the authors perform behavioral tests? Which ones?

  • d. Did the authors use any pharmacological treatment? Which ones?

  • e. What were the experimental groups analyzed?

  • f. Identify the statistical tests used by the authors.

4. Results

  • a. Are the figures and tables presented properly?

    • i. Do they have captions / axes / headings / units / scale?
    • ii. Is it possible to clearly identify the groups / individuals / metrics in the figures?
  • B. What result did you find most interesting?

5. Discussion and conclusion

  • a. Do the authors relate their results to others in the literature?

  • b. Do the authors identify the limitations of the work itself?

  • c. Do the conclusions agree with the results presented?

  • d. Do the authors indicate future prospects for the study?

6. Post-reading

  • a. Choose a concept that you did not know when reading the article and research the meaning of it. It can be a cellular component, molecule, protein, test, acronym…


Crato, A. N., Vidal, L. F., Bernardino, P. A., Ribeiro Júnior, H. D. C., Zarzar, P. M. P. A., Paiva, S. M. D., & Pordeus, I. A. (2004). Como realizar uma análise crítica de um artigo científico. Arquivos em Odontologia, 40(1), 5-18.

Nahas, F. X., & Ferreira, L. M. (2005). Analysis of the topics of a scientific paper. Acta cirurgica brasileira, 20(Supl 2).