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Recommended starting points for research in education.

Evidence Synthesis Projects

Evidence synthesis projects (systematic reviews, scoping reviews, narrative reviews, etc.) review existing research on a given topic.  The aims and scope of these different projects may differ greatly, as can the form and comprehensiveness of the review process.  Depending on the type of review, literature searching and screening can be very systematized and require a number of defined steps in the process.  In general, it suggested that you:


  • Are aware of and realistic about the time involved in the process.  Searching, screening, and reviewing can take a very long time, sometimes more than a year, especially with larger result sets.
  • Consult with a librarian before you begin.  Librarians can help steer your project in the right direction and can help you conduct a good search in pertinent databases.  
  • Have a team, or at least a coauthor, on the project.  A requirement of systematic reviews or scoping reviews is the reduction of bias via multiple authors screening results.

If you feel ready to move forward with the process, a good place to start is contacting your librarian, Dan DeSanto.

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