Research assessment types


An abstract is a concise summary of a scholarly output, such as a research article, thesis, project report, review or conference proceeding. It outlines the content and scope of the research, its purpose and significance, methodology and findings, conclusions and/or intended results. An abstract typically comprises one paragraph of 300 words or less and appears at the beginning of a manuscript, acting as the point-of-entry for the reader.

Annotated bibliography

An annotated bibliography is an alphabetical listing of the available research on a topic. For each source, there is the citation (i.e. the reference) followed by descriptive and evaluative detail (i.e. the annotation). The annotation provides a summary/synthesis of key themes and findings, and an evaluation of the quality of the source and its relevance and value in terms of the research question. An annotated bibliography may be a component of a larger research project or a stand-alone assignment.

Critical appraisal

A critical appraisal presents findings from a systematic process used to identify the strengths and weaknesses of a research article. The most important components of a critical appraisal are an evaluation of the appropriateness of the study design, in relation to the research question, and of the key methodological features of the design, so as to assess the usefulness and validity of the research findings.

Journal article

A journal article is written by scholars or professionals, who are experts in their fields, with the purpose of presenting new research or critiquing existing research. It is typically reviewed by independent peers, who evaluate the quality of the scholarship, reliability of findings, relevance to the field and/or appropriateness for the journal.

Literature review

A literature review is a critical assessment of a body of research, related to a particular research question/focus. All works included in the review are read, evaluated and analysed (as is the case for an annotated bibliography), and relationships between the literature are identified and articulated, with respect to the research question. A literature review may be incorporated into an article, thesis, research report or project report or may be a standalone assignment.


A research poster summarises research concisely and attractively in order to publicise it and generate discussion. It is usually a combination of text and tables, graphs, pictures and other presentation formats. At a conference, the researcher stands by the poster display while other participants view the poster and interact with the author.

Presentation – research

A research presentation is a means of communicating key aspects of a research project, at various phases of the project, typically to specialist audiences.

Proposal – biosafety

A biosafety proposal outlines a formal plan to utilise techniques and equipment in order to maintain safe conditions in research, preventing personal, laboratory and environmental exposure to potentially infectious agents or biohazards.

Proposal – ethics

An ethics proposal provides details relating to a research project, including background and significance, aims, methodology and data collection techniques, data retention and storage, funding sources, roles and expertise of investigators, research participants (e.g. recruitment, consent, confidentiality) and/or use of animals (e.g. housing, care and husbandry).

Proposal – grant

A grant proposal is a formal document submitted to a government department, corporation, foundation or trust, which proposes a research project and constitutes a request for funding. It outlines details relating to a research project, including aims, significance, methodology, research team, anticipated outcomes and impacts, budgetary requirements, timelines for deliverables and/or evaluation measures.

Proposal – research

A research proposal is a concise and coherent summary of a proposed research project. It outlines the central research problem or question with reference to the existing evidence base, significance and limitations, research methodology and anticipated outcomes and impacts.

Protocol – research

A research protocol is a predefined, written procedural method in the design and implementation of experiments. A protocol is written whenever it is desirable to standardise a laboratory method to ensure successful replication of results by others in the same laboratory or by other laboratories. A clinical research protocol explains the purpose and function of a clinical study, as well as how to carry it out. It details the reason for the study, the number of participants, inclusion and exclusion criteria, details of the intervention or therapy that the participants will receive (e.g. frequency and dosages), what data will be gathered, steps for clinical caregivers to carry out, and the study endpoints.

Report – research

A research report is a structured document designed so readers are able to readily extract information about the aims and significance, methodology, findings and conclusions of a research project. It describes the research methodology in sufficient detail for it to be verified by others and presents the research questions, interpretations of results, conclusions and recommendations, in the context of related work in the field.


A thesis or dissertation is a document submitted in support of candidature for an academic degree or professional qualification, presenting the research purpose and significance, review of the literature, research methodology, results, discussion and conclusion.