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An Introduction to Systematic Reviews
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An Introduction to Systematic Reviews

Second Edition
Edited by:


March 2017 | 352 pages | SAGE Publications Ltd
Focused on actively using systematic review as method, An Introduction to Systematic Reviews provides clear, step-by-step advice on the logic and processes of systematic reviewing.

Stressing the importance of precision and accuracy, this practical text carefully balances a need for insightful theory with real-world pragmatism. The Second Edition features a new chapter on statistical synthesis and 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.

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.

Available with Perusall—an eBook that makes it easier to prepare for class
Perusall is an award-winning eBook platform featuring social annotation tools that allow students and instructors to collaboratively mark up and discuss their SAGE textbook. Backed by research and supported by technological innovations developed at Harvard University, this process of learning through collaborative annotation keeps your students engaged and makes teaching easier and more effective. Learn more.
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

"An excellent introduction to systematic review delivered in an accessible style and logical format. This new edition encourages thoughtful consideration of key methodological concepts in the generation and conduct of systematic reviews and embraces recent advances in review synthesis methods. Useful to researchers and students at all levels."

Gabrielle Thorpe
Nursing, University of East Anglia

"[This] book is written in a very accessible style, supported with examples of existing systematic reviews and meta-analyses at all stages of synthesis....The step-by-step structure and clear labelling of this book make it the ideal systematic review resource for students and researchers at all levels."

Emma Norris
University College London
The Psychologist

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Sample Materials & Chapters

Chapter 1


David Gough

David Gough is a Professor of Evidence Informed Policy and Practice, and Director of the EPPI-Centre, University College London. His early research focused on child protection services. For the last 20 years, he has concentrated on methods of research synthesis including a DfE centre on evidence informed education, a node of the ESRC National Centre for Research Methods, and a methods unit for NICE. His research on “research use” include the European Commission EIPPEE network, the Science of Using Science review for the Wellcome Trust, the experimental evaluation of the RISE project to encourage evidence use in schools, a study of the UK... 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