Skip to main content
    • Aa
    • Aa
  • Get access
    Check if you have access via personal or institutional login
  • Cited by 34
  • Cited by
    This article has been cited by the following publications. This list is generated based on data provided by CrossRef.

    Adams, Richard J. Smart, Palie and Huff, Anne Sigismund 2016. Shades of Grey: Guidelines for Working with the Grey Literature in Systematic Reviews for Management and Organizational Studies. International Journal of Management Reviews,

    Gough, David and Thomas, James 2016. Systematic reviews of research in education: aims, myths and multiple methods. Review of Education, Vol. 4, Issue. 1, p. 84.

    Oancea, Alis Menter, Ian and Baumfield, Vivienne 2016. Editorial. Review of Education, Vol. 4, Issue. 1, p. 3.

    Schwartz, Robert and Deber, Raisa 2016. The performance measurement–management divide in public health. Health Policy, Vol. 120, Issue. 3, p. 273.

    Wickremasinghe, Deepthi Kuruvilla, Shyama Mays, Nicholas and Avan, Bilal Iqbal 2016. Taking knowledge users’ knowledge needs into account in health: an evidence synthesis framework. Health Policy and Planning, Vol. 31, Issue. 4, p. 527.

    Alharbi, Mohammed Emmitt, Stephen and Demian, Peter 2015. What is architectural management? Towards a pragmatic definition. Engineering, Construction and Architectural Management, Vol. 22, Issue. 2, p. 151.

    Ertesvåg, Sigrun K. 2015. Improving anti-bullying initiatives: The role of an expanded research agenda. Journal of Educational Change, Vol. 16, Issue. 3, p. 349.

    Davies, Emma and Rowe, Elizabeth 2014. From research, through policy and politics to practice: learning from experience. International Journal of Sociology and Social Policy, Vol. 34, Issue. 1/2, p. 35.

    Tripney, Janice Kenny, Caroline and Gough, David 2014. Enabling the Use of Research Evidence Within Educational Policymaking in Europe. European Education, Vol. 46, Issue. 1, p. 55.

    Bédard, Pierre-Olivier and Ouimet, Mathieu 2012. Cognizance and Consultation of Randomized Controlled Trials among Ministerial Policy Analysts. Review of Policy Research, Vol. 29, Issue. 5, p. 625.

    Mallett, Richard Hagen-Zanker, Jessica Slater, Rachel and Duvendack, Maren 2012. The benefits and challenges of using systematic reviews in international development research. Journal of Development Effectiveness, Vol. 4, Issue. 3, p. 445.

    Paterson, Barbara L. 2012. Synthesizing Qualitative Research.

    Hogg, Linda 2011. Funds of Knowledge: An investigation of coherence within the literature. Teaching and Teacher Education, Vol. 27, Issue. 3, p. 666.

    Jacobs, Sally Ashcroft, Darren and Hassell, Karen 2011. Culture in community pharmacy organisations: what can we glean from the literature?. Journal of Health Organization and Management, Vol. 25, Issue. 4, p. 420.

    Thomas, James McNaught, John and Ananiadou, Sophia 2011. Applications of text mining within systematic reviews. Research Synthesis Methods, Vol. 2, Issue. 1, p. 1.

    Yates, Lyn Connolly, Paul and Torrance, Harry 2011. Engaging science policy: from the side of the messy. British Journal of Sociology of Education, Vol. 32, Issue. 3, p. 467.

    Major, Claire and Savin‐Baden, Maggi 2010. Exploring the relevance of qualitative research synthesis to higher education research and practice. London Review of Education, Vol. 8, Issue. 2, p. 127.

    Hobson, Andrew J. Ashby, Patricia Malderez, Angi and Tomlinson, Peter D. 2009. Mentoring beginning teachers: What we know and what we don't. Teaching and Teacher Education, Vol. 25, Issue. 1, p. 207.

    Lobao, Linda and Stofferahn, Curtis W. 2008. The community effects of industrialized farming: Social science research and challenges to corporate farming laws. Agriculture and Human Values, Vol. 25, Issue. 2, p. 219.

    Naccarato, Toni DeLorenzo, Emily and Park, AeLy 2008. A Rapid Instrument Review (RIR) of Independent Living Program (ILP) Evaluation Tools. Journal of Public Child Welfare, Vol. 2, Issue. 2, p. 253.


Systematic Research Synthesis to Inform Policy, Practice and Democratic Debate

  • David Gough (a1) and Diana Elbourne (a1)
  • DOI:
  • Published online: 01 July 2002

Issues surrounding the role and provision of evidence to inform policy and practice have become topical and problematic. The context of these controversies is discussed, with particular emphasis on systematic approaches to synthesising research evidence. We contrast the ‘positivist’ emphasis with interpretative qualitative synthesis, and suggest that many of the viewpoints have become unnecessarily and unhelpfully polarised. The methods for systematic research syntheses will vary as they depend on the question being asked. The process is transparent, allowing readers to see how conclusions have been reached, and forms the basis of reviews which can be updated to help provide sustainable and relevant evidence.

Recommend this journal

Email your librarian or administrator to recommend adding this journal to your organisation's collection.

Social Policy and Society
  • ISSN: 1474-7464
  • EISSN: 1475-3073
  • URL: /core/journals/social-policy-and-society
Please enter your name
Please enter a valid email address
Who would you like to send this to? *