Synthesis Resources

Here you will find some references and links intended to provide a better understanding of the topic of synthesis. Please send any resources that could be added to this page to

Table of Contents

General Resources

Cooper H, Hedges LV.
The Handbook of Research Synthesis.
New York: Russell Sage Foundation. 1997.

Scoping Reviews

Daudt H, van Mossel C, Scott S J.
Enhancing the scoping study methodology: a large, inter-professional team’s experience with Arksey and O’Malley’s framework.
BMC Medical Research Methodology 2013, 13:48.

Levac D., Colquhoun, H., & O'Brien, K.K.
Scoping Studies: advancing the methodology.
Implementation Science 2010, 5:69.

Davis K, Drey N, Gould D.
What are scoping studies? A review of the nursing literature.
Int J Nurs Stud 2009, 46:1386-1400.

Anderson S, Allen P, Peckham S, Goodwin N.
Asking the right questions: Scoping studies in the commissioning of research on the organisation and delivery of health services.
Health Res Policy Syst 2008;6:7.

Arskey H, O'Malley L.
Scoping Studies: towards a methodological framework.
Int J Soc Res Methodol. 2005;8(1):19-32.

Mays N, Roberts E, Popay J.
Synthesizing research evidence.
In: Fulup N, Allend P, Clarke A, Black N (Eds).
Studying the Organisation and Delivery of Health Services: Research Methods.
London: Routledge. 2001; pp.188-220.

Systematic Reviews and Meta-Analyses

Campbell Collaboration Resource Center.

Henderson, LK, Craig, JC, Willis, NS, Tovey, D, & Webster, AC.
How to write a Cochrance systematic review.
Nephrology. 2010;15: 613-624.

Centre for Reviews and Dissemination.
Systematic Reviews: CRD's guidance for undertaking reviews in health care.
CRD, University of York. January 2009.

Joanna Briggs Institute.
The Joanna Briggs Institute Reviewers' Manual: 2008 edition [ PDF (1.72 MB) - external link ].
Adelaide, Australia. What's New; March 2008.

Higgins JPT, Green S (Eds).
Cochrane Handbook for Systematic Reviews of Interventions, Version 5.1.0.
The Cochrane Collaboration. March 2011.

Moher D, Tsertsvadze A, Tricco AC, Eccles M, Grimshaw J, Sampson M, Barrowman N.
When and how to update systematic reviews.
Cochrane Database Syst Rev. 2008. Jan 23(1): MR000023.

Little J, Higgins J (Eds).
The HuGENet™ HuGE Review Handbook, Version 1.0 [ PDF (166 KB) - external link ].
Human Genome Epidemiology Network. 2006.

Petticrew M, Roberts H.
Systematic reviews in social sciences: a practical guide.
Wiley Blackwell; 2005.

Centre for Reviews and Dissemination.
Undertaking systematic reviews of research on effectiveness: CRD's guidance for carrying out or commissioning reviews [ PDF (1.55 MB) - external link ].
CRD Report 4: Second Edition. 2001.

Egger M, Davey Smith G, Altman DG (Eds).
Systematic Reviews in Health Care: Meta-Analysis in Context (2nd edition).
London: BMJ Publication Group. 2001.

Sutton AJ, Jones DR, Abrams KR, Sheldon TA, Song F.
Methods for Meta-analysis in Medical Research.
London: John Wiley. 2000.


Campbell R, Britten N, Pound P, Donovan J, Morgan M, Phil R, Pope C.
Using meta-ethnography to synthesise qualitative research.
In: Pope C (Ed.).
Moving beyond effectiveness in evidence synthesis: Methodological issues in the synthesis of diverse sources of evidence.
London: National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence. 2006; pp. 75-82.

Campbell R, Pound P, Pope C, Britten N, Pill R, Morgan M, Donovan J.
Evaluating meta-ethnography: a synthesis of qualitative research on lay experiences of diabetes and diabetes care.
Soc Sci Med. 2003;56(4):671-84.

Britten N, Campbell R, Pope C, Donovan J, Morgan M, Pill R.
Using meta ethnography to synthesise qualitative research: a worked example.
J Health Serv Res Policy. 2002;7(4):209-15.

Noblit GW, Hare RD.
Meta-Ethnography: Synthesizing Qualitative Studies.
London: Sage Publications. 1988.

Mixed Methods Approaches

Pope C, Mays N, Popay J.
Synthesising qualitative and quantitative health evidence. A guide to methods.
Maidenhead: Open University Press. 2007.

Popay J, Baldwin S, Arai L, Britten N, Petticrew M, Rogers M, Sowden A.
Narrative Synthesis in Systematic Reviews.
ESRC Methods Briefings; 22. 2003.

Meta-Narrative Synthesis

Greenhalgh T, Roberts G, Macfarlane F, Bate P, Kyriakidou O, Peacock R.
Storylines of research in diffusion of innovation: A meta-narrative approach to systematic review.
Soc Sci Med. 2005;61(2):427-30.

Realist Synthesis

The RAMESES (Realist And Meta-narrative Evidence Sytheses: Evolving Standards) Project

Pawson R.
Evidence-based Policy: a Realist Perspective.
London: Sage Publications. 2006.

Pawson R, Greenhalgh T, Harvey G, Walshe K.
Realist review - a new method of systematic review designed for complex policy interventions.
J Health Serv Res Policy. 2005;10(Suppl 1):21-34.

Practice Guidelines

The AGREE Collaboration.
Appraisal of Guidelines for Research & Evaluation II (AGREE II) Instrument. 2009.

Davis D, Godman J, Palda VA.
Canadian Medical Association Handbook on Clinical Practice Guidelines.
Canadian Medical Association. 2008.

Harbor RT (Ed.).
SIGN 50: A Guideline Developer's Handbook.
Scottish Intercollegiate Guidelines Network. 2008.

National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence.
The guidelines manual 2009.
London: National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence. 2012.

Wollersheim H, Burgers J, Grol R.
Clinical guidelines to improve patient care.
Neth J Med. 2005;63:188-92.

Syntheses for Managers and Policy Makers

Saul JE, Willis CD, Bitz J, Best A
A time-responsive tool for informing policy making: rapid realist review
Implementation Science 2013, 8:103

Moat KA, Lavis JN, Wilson MG, Røttingen J-A, Bärnighausen T.
Twelve myths about systematic reviews for health system policymaking rebutted.
J Health Serv Res Policy. January 2013 vol. 18 no. 1 44-50.

Bos V, Van Kammen J.
Knowledge synthesis: a guide [ PDF (238 KB) - external link ].
The Hague and Woerden: ZonMw and NIGZ. 2007.

Synthesizing evidence for management and policy making (Supplement).
J Health Serv Res Policy. 2005 July;10(Suppl 1).

Syntheses in Biomedical Research

Mignini L, Khan K.
Methodological quality of systematic reviews of animal studies: a survey of reviews of basic research.
BMC Med Res Methodol. 2006;6:10.

Peters J, Sutton A, Jones D, Ruston L, Abrams K.
A systematic review of the systematic reviews and meta-analyses of animal experiments with guidelines for reporting.
J Environ Sci Health B. 2006;41(7):1245-1258.

Lee D, Nguyen Q, Lapointe N, Austin P, Ohlsson A, Tu J, Stewart D, Rouleau J.
Meta-Analysis of the Effects of Endothelin Receptor Blockade on Survival in Experimental Heart Failure.
J Card Fail. 2003;9(5):368-374.

Publication and Reporting Guidelines

Wong G, Greenhalgh T, Westhorp G, Buckingham J, Pawson R.
RAMESES publication standards: meta-narrative reviews.
BMC Med. 2013; 11: 20.

Welch V, Petticrew M, Tugwell P, Moher D, O'Neill J, et al.
PRISMA-Equity 2012 Extension: Reporting Guidelines for Systematic Reviews with a Focus on Health Equity.
PLoS Med 9(10): e1001333.

Moher D, Liberati A, Tetzlaff J, Altman D G for the PRISMA Group.
Preferred reporting items for systematic reviews and meta-analyses: the PRISMA statement.
BMJ 2009;339:b2535.

Stroup DF, Berlin JA, Morton SC, Olkin I, Williamson GD, Rennie D, Moher D, Becker BJ, Sipe TA, Thacker SB.
Meta-analysis of observational studies in epidemiology: a proposal for reporting.
Meta-analysis Of Observational Studies in Epidemiology (MOOSE) group.
JAMA 2000; 283(15):2008-2012.

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