A multitude of syntheses: a comparison of five approaches from diverse policy fields

Boaz, A., Ashby, D., Denyer, D., Egan, M., Harden, A., Jones, D.R., Pawson, R. and Tranfield, D. (2006) A multitude of syntheses: a comparison of five approaches from diverse policy fields. Evidence and Policy: A Journal of Research, Debate and Practice, 2(4), pp. 479-502. (doi:10.1332/174426406778881755)

Full text not currently available from Enlighten.

Publisher's URL: http://dx.doi.org/10.1332/174426406778881755

Abstract

This article addresses the synthesis and use of research evidence to inform policy and practice. Reviews of the evidence base in many fields have formed a crucial bridge between research, policy making and practice. Systematic review, in conjunction with meta-analysis, has become an established methodology for locating, selecting, appraising and quantitatively synthesising research evidence according to an explicit and reproducible methodology. However, the 'standard' systematic review template associated with the Cochrane Collaboration is often criticised for its perceived inability to cope with variation in study design, nature of evidence and study context. We present five approaches to research synthesis, conducted in different fields, using contrasting methodologies. A number of methodological, practical and strategic implications of conducting research syntheses are explored. The article aims to stimulate debate about what counts as good-quality synthesis, and to demonstrate the growing diversity in its practice. In so doing, the article offers researchers and commissioners a range of approaches to producing reviews of the evidence base.

Item Type:Articles
Status:Published
Refereed:Yes
Glasgow Author(s) Enlighten ID:Egan, Dr Matthew
Authors: Boaz, A., Ashby, D., Denyer, D., Egan, M., Harden, A., Jones, D.R., Pawson, R., and Tranfield, D.
College/School:College of Medical Veterinary and Life Sciences > Institute of Health and Wellbeing > MRC/CSO SPHSU
Journal Name:Evidence and Policy: A Journal of Research, Debate and Practice
ISSN:1744-2648
ISSN (Online):1744-2656

University Staff: Request a correction | Enlighten Editors: Update this record