MEDS 411 Researching the Criminal Mind: 1.Frame your search

This guide is for all majors researching psychology, medical, clinical health, literature in tthe writing intensive course.

Searching for Evidence based articles

The best type of scholarly peer reviewed literature is a journal article that has been published in a scholarly journal which contains the original research (primary article) which then has been evaluated again by other experts not connected to the journal (systematically reviewed journal article, meta-analysis journal article. )


  1. Health/medical scholarly journal articles go through 1-2 level review processes to ensure data accuracy and no bias.
  2. A scholarly journal content and format is the opposite of what you find in magazines and newspapers.
  3. A scholarly peer reviewed journal article has been reviewed by the editors/review committee of a journal publisher
  4. The data of a systematically reviewed journal article has gone through a second review by experts who are not connected to the Journal publisher in order to avoid bias and to confirm data accuracy
  5. A meta-analysis journal article is a systematically reviewed journal article with a statistical focus.
  6. Depending on your research topic,  you may not always find an a systematic reviewed or meta analysis journal article because the additional review process takes longer or your topic has not been selected for a systematic review/meta analysis. 


How the medical/health field vet literature using EBM/PICO

Evidence Based Method (EBM) refers to filtering out bias, incomplete or inaccurate research in journal articles using PICO .

What is PICO?  PICO is a process used to search for answer that address questions about a::

  • (P ) roblem or (P)opulation or (P)patient 
  • (I) ntervention
  • (C) omparison, and
  • (O)utcome(s)

When Evaluating Jounal Articles' title, abstract, methods, results and discussion :

  • Are the results of the review valid?
  • Does the study address a clearly focused question?
  • Did the study use valid methods to address this question?
  • Are the results of this study important?
  • Are these results applicable to the patient/population?, etc.

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