“The Handbook is a comprehensive treatment of literature synthesis and provides practical advice for anyone deep in the throes of, just teetering on the brink of, or attempting to decipher a meta-analysis. Given the expanding application and importance of literature synthesis, understanding both its strengths and weaknesses is essential for its practitioners and consumers. This volume is a good beginning for those who wish to gain that understanding.” —Chance
“Meta-analysis, as the statistical analysis of a large collection of results from individual studies is called, has now achieved a status of respectability in medicine. This respectability, when combined with the slight hint of mystique that sometimes surrounds meta-analysis, ensures that results of studies that use it are treated with the respect they deserve….The Handbook of Research Synthesis is one of the most important publications in this subject both as a definitive reference book and a practical manual.”—British Medical Journal
The Handbook of Research Synthesis is the definitive reference and how-to manual for behavioral and medical scientists applying the craft of research synthesis. It draws upon twenty years of ground-breaking advances that have transformed the practice of synthesizing research literature from an art into a scientific process in its own right. Editors Harris Cooper and Larry V. Hedges have brought together leading authorities to guide the reader through every stage of the research synthesis process—problem formulation, literature search and evaluation, statistical integration, and report preparation. The Handbook of Research Synthesis incorporates in a single volume state-of-the-art techniques from all quantitative synthesis traditions, including Bayesian inference and the meta-analytic approaches. Distilling a vast technical literature and many informal sources, the Handbook provides a portfolio of the most effective solutions to problems of quantitative data integration. The Handbook of Research Synthesis also provides a rich treatment of the non-statistical aspects of research synthesis. Topics include searching the literature, managing reference databases and registries, and developing coding schemes. Those engaged in research synthesis will also find useful advice on how tables, graphs, and narration can be deployed to provide the most meaningful communication of the results of research synthesis. The Handbook of Research Synthesis is an illuminating compilation of practical instruction, theory, and problem solving. It provides an accumulation of knowledge about the craft of reviewing a scientific literature that can be found in no other single source. The Handbook offers the reader thorough instruction in the skills necessary to conduct powerful research syntheses meeting the highest standards of objectivity, systematicity, and rigor demanded of scientific enquiry. This definitive work will represent the state of the art in research synthesis for years to come.