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TitleCritical reading and critique of medical articles
AuthorsHutchinson TP
TypeJournal Article
AbstractAl-Ateeg has given guidance as to how to critically read medical research articles.1 I will argue below that, more ambitiously, it may be valuable to criticise and critique, especially in respect of the statistical analysis of the results. Why is the reader reading? To Al-Ateeg, the reader's purpose is to acquire and maintain knowledge. I suggest a reader may have two other motivations also. (1) Pleasure and relaxation. (2) A hope of being able to actively contribute expertise. I believe that, in the case of papers that give data in sufficient detail, it is common to be able to discover features of the data that were overlooked by the original authors. A reader who is reading critically will often get a degree of pleasure from discovering such features and weighing up what they mean, and will be able to contribute by writing a letter of comment to the relevant journal. Many medical journals have a strong tradition of publication of comments. A distinguished medical statistician and the Editor of The Lancet have both emphasised the importance of this in the scientific communication process.2,3
Journal TitleSaudi Medical Journal
Journal Volume (Issue)26(1)
Page Range160-161
Page Count2
NotesAvailable from CASR library on request

Hutchinson TP (2005). Critical reading and critique of medical articles. Saudi Medical Journal, 26(1), 160-161.