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Newsletter: From Evidence to Action

Systematic reviews in the social sciences: A practical guide

Type :
Toolkits & guidelines
Author :
Petticrew, M. & Roberts, H.
Published :
2006
Link :

This book is a guide to planning and conducting a particular type of literature review, one that is increasingly used as a scientific tool: the systematic literature review. The book is aimed at social science researchers, but it provides a more general discussion of systematic reviews for those who want to use and understand them, but don’t necessarily want to do one themselves.

Most of the recent interest in systematic reviews focuses on reviews of the effectiveness of interventions, reflected in the growth of initiatives like the Campbell and Cochrane Collaborations. This book therefore focuses on reviews of effectiveness, but not exclusively. Systematic reviews are also widely used to synthesize other sorts of evidence, for example in order to answer questions about etiology (causes of problems), or about people’s experiences, and we discuss and present examples of such.