When searching in a database, critical thinking skills are essential. Don't waste time and paper! Spend a few minutes reviewing the citation and/or abstract information and consider the following details:
Author: who wrote this and what are his/her credentials and affiliations?
Source: is this a scholarly, professional, popular, or trade publication?
Publisher: who produced this? government? university? corporation?
Date: when was this published?
Audience: for whom is this written? general public? scholars? practitioners?
Purpose: are the findings clearly stated? Are there clear biases?
Data: is methodology explained? Are charts, graphs, illustrations clearly presented?
Conclusions: do the findings support the thesis?
References: are there footnotes and citations leading to related work?
Compare: how does this article compare with other articles in this field?
P – Patient, problem population
I – Intervention, exposure, prognostic factor
C – Comparison, control
O - Outcome
(T) - Time