Also, look carefully at the way they have structured evidence. The placement of topics, chapters, paragraphs, words and phrases all contribute to the overall effect the writer is trying to achieve. It makes more difference than you might at first think to put a chapter on religious writers before a chapter on atheists rather than after because the first argument will be qualified by the second and thus although the religious chapter ‘speaks first’ and thus has the advantage of priming the reader, the second speaker has the opportunity to challenge what has gone before. Try never to assume anything, always look for the ‘why’ and the ‘how’ as these are the key words in critical analysis.
A 2011 study done to disclose possible conflicts of interests in underlying research studies used for medical meta-analyses reviewed 29 meta-analyses and found that conflicts of interests in the studies underlying the meta-analyses were rarely disclosed. The 29 meta-analyses included 11 from general medicine journals, 15 from specialty medicine journals, and three from the Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews . The 29 meta-analyses reviewed a total of 509 randomized controlled trials (RCTs). Of these, 318 RCTs reported funding sources, with 219 (69%) receiving funding from industry [ clarification needed ] . Of the 509 RCTs, 132 reported author conflict of interest disclosures, with 91 studies (69%) disclosing one or more authors having financial ties to industry. The information was, however, seldom reflected in the meta-analyses. Only two (7%) reported RCT funding sources and none reported RCT author-industry ties. The authors concluded "without acknowledgment of COI due to industry funding or author industry financial ties from RCTs included in meta-analyses, readers' understanding and appraisal of the evidence from the meta-analysis may be compromised."