Short steps to reading a paper. Part 15: The conclusions
This is the last post in our series of short steps to reading a paper. We hope that you have found them useful. We will put them in one long course when we get time, as this will make the series easier to read. This is on how I read the conclusions of a paper.
Reading the conclusions.
This is a simple step. If you have read and interpreted the paper, then you don’t really need to read the conclusions. You will have reached your own opinion on the value of the research.
I am not being facetious in these comments. I frequently find that authors will not necessarily base their conclusions on their findings and this can be misleading for readers. This is why you should read the whole paper and not just the abstract and the conclusions.
Some may feel that we have been too basic in this series on research interpretation. However, we have really just looked at the important pointers to assess the quality of the research that we all try to read. We hope that you have found it useful.
Emeritus Professor of Orthodontics, University of Manchester, UK.