Problem Statement, Conceptual Framework, and Research Question

  1. The introduction builds a logical case and context for the problem statement
  2. The problem statement is clear and well-articulated
  3. The conceptual framework is explicit and justified
  4. The research question (research hypothesis where applicable) is clear, concise, and complete
  5. The variables being investigated are clearly identified and presented

Reference to the Literature and Documentation

  1. The literature review is up-to-date
  2. The number of references is appropriate and their selection is judicious
  3. The review of the literature is well integrated
  4. The references are mainly primary sources
  5. Ideas are acknowledged appropriately (scholarly attribution) and accurately
  6. The literature is analyzed and critically appraised


  1. The study is relevant to the mission of the journal or its audience
  2. The study addresses important problems or issues; the study is worth doing
  3. The study adds to the literature already available on the subject
  4. The study has generalizability because of the selection of subjects, setting, and educational intervention or materials

Research Design

The research design:

  1. Is defined and clearly described, and is sufficiently detailed to permit the study to be replicated
  2. Is appropriate (optimal) for the research question
  3. Has internal validity, potential confounding variables or biases are addressed
  4. Has external validity, including subjects, settings, and conditions
  5. Allows for unexpected outcomes or events to occur
  6. And conduct of the study are plausible

Instrumentation, Data Collection, and Quality Control

  1. The development and content of the instrument are sufficiently described or referenced, and are sufficiently detailed to permit the study to be replicated
  2. The measurement instrument is appropriate given the study’s variables; the scoring method is clearly defined
  3. The psychometric properties and procedures are clearly presented and appropriate
  4. The data set is sufficiently described or referenced
  5. Observers or raters were sufficiently trained
  6. Data quality control is described and adequate

Population and Sample

  1. The population is defined clearly, both for subjects (participants) and stimulus (intervention), and is sufficiently detailed to permit the study to be replicated
  2. The sampling procedures are sufficiently described
  3. Subject samples are appropriate to the research question
  4. Stimulus samples are appropriate to the research question
  5. Selection bias is addressed

Data Analysis and Statistics

  1. Data analysis procedures are sufficiently described, and are sufficiently detailed to permit the study to be replicated
  2. Data analysis procedures conform to the research design; hypotheses, models, or theory drives the data analyses
  3. The assumptions underlying the use of statistics are fulfilled by the data, such as measurement properties of the data and normality of distributions
  4. Statistical tests are appropriate (optimal)
  5. If statistical analysis involves multiple tests or comparisons, proper adjustment of significance level for chance outcomes was applied
  6. Power issues are considered in statistical studies with small sample sizes
  7. In qualitative research that relies on words instead of numbers, basic requirements of data reliability, validity, trustworthiness, and absence of bias were fulfilled

Reporting of Statistical Analyses

  1. The assumptions underlying the use of statistics are considered, given the data collected
  2. The statistics are reported correctly and appropriately
  3. The number of analyses is appropriate
  4. Measures of functional significance, such as effect size or proportion of variance accounted for, accompany hypothesis-testing analyses

Presentation of Results

  1. Results are organized in a way that is easy to understand
  2. Results are presented effectively; the results are contextualized
  3. The results are complete
  4. The amount of data presented is sufficient and appropriate
  5. Tables, graphs, or figures are used judiciously and agree with the text

Discussion and Conclusion: Interpretation

  1. The conclusions are clearly stated; key points stand out
  2. The conclusions follow from the design, methods, and results; justification of conclusions is well articulated
  3. Interpretations of the results are appropriate; the conclusions are accurate (not misleading)
  4. The study limitations are discussed
  5. Alternative interpretations for the findings are considered
  6. Statistical differences are distinguished from meaningful differences
  7. Personal perspectives or values related to interpretations are discussed
  8. Practical significance or theoretical implications are discussed; guidance for future studies is offered

Title, Authors, and Abstract

  1. The title is clear and informative
  2. The title is representative of the content and breadth of the study (not misleading)
  3. The title captures the importance of the study and the attention of the reader
  4. The number of authors appears to be appropriate given the study
  5. The abstract is complete (thorough); essential details are presented
  6. The results in the abstract are presented in sufficient and specific detail
  7. The conclusions in the abstract are justified by the information in the abstract and the text
  8. There are no inconsistencies in detail between the abstract and the text
  9. All of the information in the abstract is present in the text
  10. The abstract overall is congruent with the text; the abstract gives the same impression as the text

Presentation and Documentation

  1. The text is well written and easy to follow
  2. The vocabulary is appropriate
  3. The content is complete and fully congruent
  4. The manuscript is well organized
  5. The data reported are accurate (e.g., numbers add up) and appropriate; tables and figures are used effectively and agree with the text
  6. Reference citations are complete and accurate

Scientific Conduct

  1. There are no instances of plagiarism
  2. Ideas and materials of others are correctly attributed
  3. Prior publication by the author(s) of substantial portions of the data or study is appropriately acknowledged
  4. There is no apparent conflict of interest
  5. There is an explicit statement of appropriate regulatory and governance approval(s) for studies directly involving human subjects or data about them, or a statement why this is/these are not required[1]

[1] The wording of point 77 has been slightly amended with the permission of the AAMC.