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Table 1 Critical appraisal tool for study validity assessment

From: The effectiveness of spawning habitat creation or enhancement for substrate-spawning temperate fish: a systematic review

CategoryBias and generic data quality featuresSpecific data quality featuresValidityDesign of assessed study
1Selection bias: study designDesign (i.e., well-controlled)HighBACI
MediumBA or CI
ReplicationHighReplication at level of intervention (n > 5)
MediumReplication at level of intervention (true n = 1 with pseudoreplication) or n = 2–5
LowUnreplicated (i.e. no variance, or variance across years only)
Control matchingHighControl and treatment samples well-matched or likely well-matched at baseline
MediumControl and treatment samples moderately matched
LowControl and treatment samples poorly matched
2Assessment bias: measurement of outcomeMeasured outcomeHighQuantitative
MediumQuantitative approximations or semi-quantitative
LowQualitative
3Performance bias: baseline comparisonOther confounding environmental factorsHighIntervention and comparator sites homogenous
MediumIntervention and comparator sites moderately comparable with respect to confounding factors
LowIntervention and comparator sites hardly comparable with respect to confounding factors or lacking sufficient information to judge
N/A if BA design and before measurement taken immediately prior to restoration
  1. Reviewers provided a rating of high, medium, or low for each of the specific data quality features. Reviewers also had the opportunity to provide comments for each study based on external validity (generalizability)