SSW Room 2E02
Presenter: Julia Littell,PhD, Professor
Grad School of SSW &
Social Welfare Bryn Mawr College
Research reviews can provide valuable information on the state of empirical evidence on many topics that are relevant for practice and policy. This session considers the process of reviewing research, which can (and should) be considered a form of empirical research in itself. As such, research reviews involve a set of logical, empirical, and practical problems.
The science of research synthesis has evolved to address these problems and minimize bias at each step in the review process. Providing guidance for reviewers who wish to provide comprehensive and valid statements about a body of research, scholars have developed and published empirically-based standards for the identification, analysis, and synthesis of quantitative research results. Methods for synthesizing qualitative research and mixed-methods syntheses are under development.
This session considers the logic and problems of research synthesis, common sources and types of bias that affect research reviews, and the rapidly developing body of theoretical and empirical work on the science of research synthesis. It shows why traditional research reviews and most published meta-analyses are vulnerable to certain biases and, therefore, may lead to misleading conclusions. Potential uses and misuses of research synthesis and meta-analysis in practice and policy are considered.
All are welcome to attend, however, if you would like pizza and a handout, please RSVP to email@example.com by 1/26.
Littell, J. H. (2008). Evidence-based or biased? The quality of published reviews of evidence-based practices. Children and Youth Services Review, 30, 1299-1317.
Littell, J. H., Corcoran, J., & Pillai, V. (2008). Systematic reviews and meta-analysis. New York: Oxford University Press.