Critical appraisal of studies



How to critically appraise in JBI SUMARI
  • Select [Appraisal] from the top menu bar

  • Studies that you have included from the Studies tab will appear here. To begin the critical appraisal process, select the first, non-greyed out [Start] button

  • For each question, you will be required to read the included study and provide an answer. After recording your answer to the question, you are able to include some additional information to support your decision by selecting [Comment]

  • The critical appraisal page will change depending of the type of review you have selected

  • Once you have provided an answer to every question, you will then be prompted for a final decision, to include or exclude this study

  • Click [Save] and then [Back] to return to the appraisal home page

Please note, there is no standardised rules or criteria for how final study inclusion or exclusion will occur. This will need to be discussed by the review team prior to the critical appraisal process. 


  • Once you have critically appraised a study return to the appraisal tab by selecting [Appraisal] from the top menu bar. Here you will see that the original [Start] button has been changed to now read [Complete]

Proceeding with 2 reviewers


  • It is a requirement of the JBI that critical appraisal of studies for inclusion in a systematic review need to be done in duplicate. Two, independent reviewers are required.

  • After you have completed your appraisal process you will not be able to proceed until the second reviewer has also critically appraised the same paper. 

  • Once the second reviewer has performed their critical appraisal of the study you will then be able to begin the final appraisal process. To do this, select the final [Start] button

  • This will take you to the final appraisal page, here you will be able to see the appraisal results from both reviewers. If there are any discrepancies between appraisal scores these will need to be discussed between reviewers.

  • Based on the critical appraisal of both reviewers you can then decide, for the final time, to include or exclude this study.

  • Click [Save] and then [Back] to return to the appraisal home page

Proceeding with 1 reviewer


  • Whilst it is not recommend and not JBI policy to only undergo critical appraisal with one reviewer, SUMARI does support this functionality.

  • After you have completed your appraisal process, you can select the final [Start] button

  • This will give you a prompt, confirming that you will proceed with the appraisal process with only 1 reviewer

  • Scroll down to the bottom of the page and chose to include or exclude the study based on the critical appraisal

  • Click [Save] and then [Back] to return to the appraisal home page

Performing Critical Appraisal


Can I skip the critical appraisal process in JBI SUMARI?

If it is required, JBI SUMARI does allow users to skip the critical appraisal process entirely, or will allow you to critically appraise a study with only one critical appraiser. However, JBI reviews require the critical appraisal process to be conducted with at least two independent critical appraisers. If you skip the appraisal process, or only appraise the included study with one appraiser, the accompanying systematic review will not be acceptable for publication in the JBI Database of Systematic Reviews and Implementation Reports (JBISRIR).








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