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PSY 302 – Child Development

Initial Scan for Relevance

The steps in the process of scanning an academic article for relevance: 

Step 1. Skip to the end

  • You won’t spoil the ending! Reading the conclusion is your best bet for making a quick determination of the relevance to your topic.

Step 2. Identify research question and major findings

  • The research question will almost always be stated just prior to the Methods section, and can also be found within the abstract and/or conclusion.

Step 3. Determine its relevance

  • Is it relevant to your context? Does it discuss themes that you have already identified in other studies? Does it introduce new themes not previously considered?

    • If yes, include for appraisal

    • If no, discard and find others (if necessary)

    • If maybe, review the abstract and conclusion again, perhaps keep in a “maybe” folder and evaluate again once you have completed your review