Systematic Reviews in the Social Sciences: A Practical Guide

Systematic Reviews in the Social Sciences: A Practical Guide

Author(s): Mark Petticrew, Helen Roberts

Published Online: 11 JAN 2008

Print ISBN: 9781405121101

Online ISBN: 9780470754887

DOI: 10.1002/9780470754887

About this Book

Such diverse thinkers as Lao-Tze, Confucius, and U.S. Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld have all pointed out that we need to be able to tell the difference between real and assumed knowledge. The systematic review is a scientific tool that can help with this difficult task. It can help, for example, with appraising, summarising, and communicating the results and implications of otherwise unmanageable quantities of data.

This book, written by two highly-respected social scientists, provides an overview of systematic literature review methods:


  • Outlining the rationale and methods of systematic reviews;
  • Giving worked examples from social science and other fields;
  • Applying the practice to all social science disciplines;
  • It requires no previous knowledge, but takes the reader through the process stage by stage;
  • Drawing on examples from such diverse fields as psychology, criminology, education, transport, social welfare, public health, and housing and urban policy, among others.
  • Including detailed sections on assessing the quality of both quantitative, and qualitative research; searching for evidence in the social sciences;
    meta-analytic and other methods of evidence synthesis; publication bias; heterogeneity; and approaches to dissemination.

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