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An Introduction to Systematic Reviews
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An Introduction to Systematic Reviews

Second Edition
Edited by:


© 2017 | 352 pages | SAGE Publications Ltd

Focused on actively using systematic review as method, this book provides clear, step-by-step advice on the logic and processes of systematic reviewing.

Stressing the importance of precision and accuracy, this new edition carefully balances a need for insightful theory with real-world pragmatism; it introduces a wide range of cutting-edge approaches to research synthesis including text mining, living reviews and new ideas in mixed methods reviews such as qualitative comparative analysis.

The book also includes:

  • A new chapter on statistical synthesis
  • Coverage of computer-assisted methods and relevant software
  • Expanded sections on data extraction and management
  • A guide to working with many different types of data including longitudinal and panel.

Packed with examples from across the social sciences, this book helps students and researchers alike in turning systematic reviews into recommendations for policy and practice.

David Gough, Sandy Oliver and James Thomas
Introducing systematic reviews
Rebecca Rees and Sandy Oliver
Stakeholder perspectives and participation in reviews
David Gough and James Thomas
Commonality and diversity in reviews
Sandy Oliver, Kelly Dickson, Mukdarut Bangpan, and Mark Newman
Getting started with a review
Ginny Brunton, Claire Stansfield, Jenny Caird, and James Thomas
Finding relevant studies
Katy Sutcliffe, Sandy Oliver and Michelle Richardson
Describing and analysing studies
Jeff Brunton, James Thomas, and Sergio Graziosi
Tools and technologies for information management
James Thomas, Alison O’Mara-Eves, Angela Harden, and Mark Newman
Synthesis methods for combining and configuring textual or mixed methods data
James Thomas, Alison O’Mara-Eves, Dylan Kneale and Ian Shemilt
Synthesis methods for combining and configuring quantitative data
Kristin Liabo, David Gough and Angela Harden
Developing justifiable evidence claims
David Gough, Ruth Stewart and Janice Tripney
Using research findings

Sample Materials & Chapters

Chapter 1


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David Gough

David Gough is Professor of Evidence Informed Policy and Practice and the Director of SSRU and its EPPI-Centre. Prior to this he was senior research fellow at the University of Glasgow and professor at Japan Women’s University. His early research focused on child welfare policy including roles in the international, British and Japanese societies for the prevention of child abuse and being Co-Editor of Child Abuse Review. His interest in the study of research synthesis and research use started in 1988 by developing coding guidelines to systematically describe and assess the child abuse intervention literature. He also studies evidence use... More About Author

Sandy Oliver

Sandy Oliver is Professor of Public Policy at UCL Institute of Education and Deputy Director of SSRU and its EPPI-Centre. For twenty five years her interests have focused on the interaction between researchers and people making decisions in their professional and personal lives. With this in mind she has been developing methods to collate knowledge from whole bodies of research – systematic reviews – not just single studies. Most recently this has been in the area of international development where she has conducted systematic reviews and built up a programme of support for research teams conducting reviews elsewhere. She works with DFID... More About Author

James Thomas

James Thomas is a Professor in Social Policy, Assistant Director of SSRU and Associate Director of the EPPI-Centre He directs the EPPI-Centre's Reviews Facility for the Department of Health, England, and undertakes systematic reviews across a range of policy areas. He has specialized in developing methods for research synthesis, in particular for qualitative and mixed methods reviews and in using emerging information technologies in research. He leads a module on synthesis and critical appraisal on the EPPI-Centre's MSc in Evidence for Public Policy and Practice and development on the Centre's in-house reviewing software, EPPI-Reviewer. More About Author

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