Critical appraisal

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  • This is a group-based assessment. Each group must have 4-5 members. Any student, who fails to join the group-based assessment and submits his/her individual work, will NOT be assessed.
  • Date to hand in: 18 May 2010.
  • Each group should submit ONE printed copy and ONE electronic copy in a disk/CD. The work should be handed in to Assignment office. The lecturers will not accept any submission either in person or via email attachment. The student centre closes at 4pm, so you must submit the assignment well before the closing time.
  • Any group, which fails to submit both paper based and electronic copy of the report, will NOT be assessed.
  • Each group should also submit a copy online using BREO's turnitin link. Please follow the instructions provided in BREO's "Assignment" folder. Your work will NOT be assessed if you failed to submit a copy online.
  • You will be marked as fail if you have missed the deadline for submission either in printed copy or online.
  • Each group also needs to submit one copy of the compulsory peer assessment form signed by all group members. Your work will NOT be assessed if the group fails to submit the form or didn't follow all the requirements specified in the assessment form correctly.
  • The original full paper you selected must be attached as an appendix of the report. The work will NOT be assessed if the original paper is not attached with the report.
  • The review article must be from those provided by the tutor in BREO. If your group used any other article outside the given list, your work will NOT be assessed.
  • Your assignment will be scanned by a plagiarism detecting tool. Any attempt of plagiarising your work will be detected and penalised. All members of the group will be held responsible for the whole report.
  • Non-assessed reports will be marked as "No Attempt" which is a FAIL.


This assignment requires each group to examine and select a paper for critical appraisal. The tutor will provide you with a list of suitable articles formally published in information systems journals, so your group MUST select ONE from the list. You are required to thoroughly and critically read the article and fully understand it before attempting to address the assignment questions. To be able to do that you will have to do much background reading from textbooks and other academic articles related to the topic. You must use adequately research evidence to support your review and comments. If you attempt to read the article in a vacuum, i.e. with no reference to other reading, your critical appraisal will be weaker.

Important Guidelines

Some guidelines are offered to enable you to prepare the critical appraisal of the chosen paper. The steps are suggested as follows:

  • Form a group with 4-5 students and enter your group members' names into BREO.
  • Assign tasks among group members and set up meeting schedules and deadlines.
  • Read and select one of the given articles listed in BREO.
  • Survey academic journals which cover that topics of your chosen article.
  • Study the chosen article and identify contributions and areas for further research.
  • Conduct external research and collect research evidence.
  • Develop a logical argument and constructive comments.
  • Prepare a formal report to structure your critique.
  • Meet all group members and sign the peer assessment form before submitting your report before the submission deadline.

Focus of your critique

It might be helpful if you follow the following guidelines in your report:

  • Comment on the importance of the study reported in your chosen paper. Comment on the research problem addressed by the author(s). Is it significant, and why?
  • Comment on the degree of contributions/originality of the work reported in the paper.
  • Comment on the theoretical argument of the paper, or theoretical underpinning (if there is any).
  • Identify the research methods adopted. Discuss the appropriateness of the research methods.
  • Comment on the key findings and their implications.
  • Identify the research limitations and provide suggestions for any future research.

Format and requirements

  • You should not simply repeat (copy) the materials from the chosen paper. You must make your own arguments clear.
  • Your critique should be appropriate with strong evidence, precise but to the point.
  • Reference style must follow Harvard Reference Systems, e.g. EJIS style (European Journal of Information Systems). The university library web site has "A guide to academic referencing" at
  • The critique should be word-processed, the length of your critique should be between 3500 - 4000 words. Please print the number of words using Word Count function at the end of your report.