An Introduction to Qualitative Research Synthesis: Managing the Information Explosion in Social Science Research, 1st Edition (Paperback) book cover

An Introduction to Qualitative Research Synthesis

Managing the Information Explosion in Social Science Research, 1st Edition

By Claire Howell Major, Maggi Savin-Baden


190 pages

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Providing a comprehensive guide for understanding, interpreting and synthesizing qualitative studies, An Introduction to Qualitative Research Synthesis shows how data can be collated together effectively to summarise existing bodies of knowledge and to create a more complete picture of findings across different studies

The authors describe qualitative research synthesis and argue for its use, describing the process of data analysis, synthesis and interpretation and provide specific details and examples of how the approach works in practice.

This accessible book:

    • fully explains the qualitative research synthesis approach;
    • provides advice and examples of findings;
    • describes the process of establishing credibility in the research process;
    • provides annotated examples of the work in process;
    • references published examples of the approach across a wide variety of fields.

Helping researchers to understand, make meaning and synthesize a wide variety of datasets, this book is broad in scope yet practical in approach. It will be beneficial to those working in social science disciplines, including researchers, teachers, students and policy makers, especially those interested in methods of synthesis such as meta-ethnography, qualitative meta-analysis, qualitative meta-synthesis, interpretive synthesis, narrative synthesis, and qualitative systematic review.


"[This] is a book well worth reading due to the strong content and the valuable procedures which Major and Savin-Baden provide….a qualitative researcher has an excellent toolbox in this text….a strong book and a good read for anyone who is interested in qualitative research synthesis."--The Qualitative Report

"This text will serve as a benchmark in the development of this nascent methodological approach and is for all who rely on the findings of qualitative research studies in their own research….Highly recommended."--CHOICE

Table of Contents

Selected Contents: Introduction Part 1: Arguing for qualitative research synthesis 1. Making the case for qualitative research synthesis 2. Comparing qualitative research synthesis with other approaches Part 2: Doing qualitative research synthesis 3. Designing the synthesis 4. Analyzing, synthesizing and interpreting studies 5. Establishing plausibility in qualitative research synthesis 6. Presenting the synthesis Conclusion Part 3: Resources Examples of studies using qualitative research synthesis Sample article, Annotated Qualitative research synthesis bibliography, texts and studies End matter Works Cited Index Glossary

About the Authors

Claire Howell Major is Professor of the Higher Education Program at the University of Alabama, USA.

Maggi Savin-Baden is Professor of Higher Education Research at Coventry University, UK.

Subject Categories

BISAC Subject Codes/Headings:
EDUCATION / Evaluation
EDUCATION / Research