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What Synthesis Methodology Should I Use? A Review and Analysis of Approaches to Research Synthesis

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dc.contributor.author Schick-Makaroff, Kara
dc.contributor.author MacDonald, Marjorie
dc.contributor.author Plummer, Marilyn
dc.contributor.author Burgess, Judy
dc.contributor.author Neander, Wendy
dc.date.accessioned 2016-08-22T22:32:28Z
dc.date.available 2016-08-22T22:32:28Z
dc.date.copyright 2016 en_US
dc.date.issued 2016-03
dc.identifier.citation Schick-Makaroff, K., MacDonald, M., Plummer, M., Burgess, J., & Neander, W. (2016). What Synthesis Methodology Should I Use? A Review and Analysis of Approaches to Research Synthesis. AIMS Public Health, 3(1), 172-215. en_US
dc.identifier.uri http://dx.doi.org/10.3934/publichealth.2016.1.172
dc.identifier.uri http://hdl.handle.net/1828/7464
dc.description.abstract Background: When we began this process, we were doctoral students and a faculty member in a research methods course. As students, we were facing a review of the literature for our dissertations. We encountered several different ways of conducting a review but were unable to locate any resources that synthesized all of the various synthesis methodologies. Our purpose is to present a comprehensive overview and assessment of the main approaches to research synthesis. We use ‘research synthesis’ as a broad overarching term to describe various approaches to combining, integrating, and synthesizing research findings. Methods: We conducted an integrative review of the literature to explore the historical, contextual, and evolving nature of research synthesis. We searched five databases, reviewed websites of key organizations, hand-searched several journals, and examined relevant texts from the reference lists of the documents we had already obtained. Results: We identified four broad categories of research synthesis methodology including conventional, quantitative, qualitative, and emerging syntheses. Each of the broad categories was compared to the others on the following: key characteristics, purpose, method, product, context, underlying assumptions, unit of analysis, strengths and limitations, and when to use each approach. Conclusions: The current state of research synthesis reflects significant advancements in emerging synthesis studies that integrate diverse data types and sources. New approaches to research synthesis provide a much broader range of review alternatives available to health and social science students and researchers. en_US
dc.description.sponsorship KSM is an assistant professor in the Faculty of Nursing at the University of Alberta. Her work on this article was largely conducted as a Postdoctoral Fellow, funded by KRESCENT (Kidney Research Scientist Core Education and National Training Program, reference #KRES110011R1) and the Faculty of Nursing at the University of Alberta. MM’s work on this study over the period of 2008-2014 was supported by a Canadian Institutes of Health Research Applied Public Health Research Chair Award (grant #92365). We thank Rachel Spanier who provided support with reference formatting. en_US
dc.language.iso en en_US
dc.publisher AIMS Public Health en_US
dc.rights Attribution 2.5 Canada *
dc.rights.uri http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.5/ca/ *
dc.subject research synthesis en_US
dc.subject systematic review en_US
dc.subject knowledge synthesis en_US
dc.subject methodology en_US
dc.title What Synthesis Methodology Should I Use? A Review and Analysis of Approaches to Research Synthesis en_US
dc.type Article en_US
dc.description.scholarlevel Faculty en_US
dc.description.reviewstatus Reviewed en_US


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