Reading, writing and systematic review
Version of Record online: 21 AUG 2008
© 2008 The Author. Journal compilation © 2008 Blackwell Publishing Ltd
Journal of Advanced Nursing
Volume 64, Issue 1, pages 104–110, October 2008
How to Cite
Sandelowski, M. (2008), Reading, writing and systematic review. Journal of Advanced Nursing, 64: 104–110. doi: 10.1111/j.1365-2648.2008.04813.x
- Issue online: 20 SEP 2008
- Version of Record online: 21 AUG 2008
- Accepted for publication 25 October 2007
- qualitative research;
- quantitative research;
- research methods;
- resisting reader;
- systematic review;
- textual practices
Title. Reading, writing and systematic review.
Aim. This paper offers a discussion of the reading and writing practices that define systematic review.
Background. Although increasingly popular, systematic review has engendered a critique of the claims made for it as a more objective method for summing up research findings than other kinds of reviews.
Discussion. An alternative understanding of systematic review is as a highly subjective, albeit disciplined, engagement between resisting readers and resistant texts. Reviewers of research exemplify the resisting reader when they exclude reports on grounds of relevance, quality, or methodological difference. Research reports exemplify resistant texts as they do not simply yield their findings, but rather must be made docile to review. These acts of resistance make systematic review possible, but challenge claims of its greater capacity to control bias.
Conclusion. An understanding of the reading and writing practices that define systematic review still holds truth and objectivity as regulative ideals, but is aware of the reading and writing practices that both enable and challenge those ideals.