NIFP Ratings of Research Articles

Scale is 0 – 10 

  • 10 Rigorously scientific research (controlled variables) on biological factors or ethological observations related to play; produces outcomes that directly explain play or identify play behaviors or play mechanisms.
  • 6 – 9 Scientific research (well controlled variables) on biological factors or ethological observations less directly related to play.
  • 5 – Research that is directly related to play behavior, but not on biological factors of play. This is research that is methodologically sound, but by its nature includes uncontrolled variables  (e.g., education / classroom)
  • 1 – 4 Less directly related to play or less rigorous research (many uncontrolled variables)
  • 0 – Indirectly related to play but NIFP believes the paper has value to people wanting to understand play. 

Note: The NIFP does not purport that the ratings are an objective assessment of the pertinence to play behaviors, play mechanisms or the rigor of the research.  All ratings are NIFP’s subjective estimates provided to facilitate finding the most valuable information with least effort.  Most all the ratings are based solely on a reading of the abstracts. In a small portion of cases our ratings are higher than would be expected from the metrics described above; in these cases we are very familiar with the work and believe it should be a high priority for anyone wishing to understand play. 

We welcome feedback from our readers identifying inconsistencies or otherwise critiquing our ratings. 

We further welcome pointers to important research articles to consider for addition to our library.