Developing a critiquing tool for expert opinion

Emma Burrows, Sandra Clare Walker

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


This article describes the process of creating a critiquing tool to enable the utilisation of expert opinion in an Evidence Based Dissertation Project. This tool is presented ‘in action’ in order to provide a worked example of the tool following a rationale for and brief description of its creation. The topic of the dissertation discussed, a harm-minimisation approach in the management of self-harm, relies heavily on grey literature and expert opinion as its evidence base due to a dearth of robust research evidence into the subject. Whilst expert opinion is regarded as poor quality in the hierarchy of evidence there are occasions when it represents the best available evidence in practice and in a context of increasing involvement of the expert patient in healthcare and research, being able to critique expert opinion is becoming more important. In the spirit of good academic practice expert opinion should be subject to the same critical scrutiny as research studies in order to make a judgement about quality and reliability. To this end, a framework for critiquing expert opinion is suggested having been created via analysis of existing frameworks and exploration of the considerations academics are expected to cover when publishing expert opinion. Use of this framework allowed closer inspection of the expert opinion concerned and assisted the novice researcher in making a coherent decision regarding the validity and reliability of the piece and its merits with regards to answering the project question. This framework may be useful for consideration of the merits of expert opinion literature in academic study and research.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1-5
Number of pages5
JournalWorking Papers in the Health Sciences
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 2013


Dive into the research topics of 'Developing a critiquing tool for expert opinion'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this