Contextual Questions to Consider When Evaluating New Scientific Information
Source: Adapted from: Nelson DE, Brownson RC, Remington PL, Parvanta C (eds). Communicating public health information effectively.
Washington, DC: American Public Health Association; 2002.
• Have findings been included in a scientifically credible
• Are these findings preliminary?
• Are these new findings, or have they been previously reported?
• How do they compare with previous research? (If findings
are different, why should these results be considered more
believable than prior research?)
• How certain is it that the results are not due to chance?
• What are potential alternative explanations?
• Can these results be generalized to other populations?
• What are the limitations of these findings?
• What is potentially missing?
• Should judgment be withheld until more evidence is available
(e.g., completion of other studies)?
• What do other scientific experts in the same field say about