Bolu, Turkey
Monday 8th September 2014

Pre-season tours normally entail a substantial amount of traveling, which if you don’t pack a healthy stash of journal articles, can turn into an opportunity wasted.

So far this pre-season, I have flown from Newark, via Edinburgh, to Istanbul; from Istanbul to Munich; from Milan to Sardinia; from Sardinia via Milan to Istanbul & next week will fly to Zagreb.  That doesn’t even take into consideration the amount of time spent on buses driving through Germany, Austria, Italy & this week, into the Turkish mountains to Fenerbahce's country training centre.

In days gone by, a “healthy stash of journal articles” to see me through that many miles would have added a few kilograms to my hand luggage.  Fortunately, my “Reading List” store on my iPad can stockpile a sufficient library to keep me amused on the journeys.

The downside of that, is that I still quite like to write alongside various paragraphs or graphs on the papers & don’t get the same feel of a paper’s structure when reading it on a screen.  On the other hand, it’s really easy to email PDFs over to friends & colleagues, when there is one worth discussing.

On one such occasion this week, I was emailing a couple of papers to my friend & former colleague in Thailand, James (Butterfield), when an interesting discussion broke out across cyberspace.  James is currently working his way through his MSc & mentioned that he was trying to improve his ability to review, then critically evaluate journal articles in a systematic manner.

As one of James’ mentors, I sent across a few pointers on how I work through studies, many of which I had learnt from one of my friends & another former colleague, James Moore.  I mentioned that I had compiled a form that I fill once I have had a skim read through the article & am then working through it again in greater detail.

It may not be the perfect structure to guide you through a paper but it works for me…& if James was interested, then there may be several more of you out there in the same boat.

If that’s the case, click on the link below & feel free to use the form to help record your opinions & learning points when reading through your journal articles.

Article Review & Critical Evaluation Form (Finlay, 2011)

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