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Systematic Reviews, Scoping Reviews, and other Knowledge Syntheses

Purpose of this guide

This guide was created to help students and faculty learn more about types of knowledge syntheses and the process of conducting them.

CIHR defines knowledge synthesis as "the contextualization and integration of research findings of individual research studies within the larger body of knowledge on the topic. A synthesis must be reproducible and transparent in its methods, using quantitative and/or qualitative methods." Systematic reviews, scoping reviews, realist syntheses, narrative syntheses, meta-analyses, meta-syntheses and practice guidelines are all forms of synthesis.

Types of knowledge syntheses covered in this guide

Information covered in this guide

  • Resources for an overview on knowledge synthesis methods can be found on this page of our guide. Start here if you do not know where to begin.
  • A systematic review is designed to answer precisely defined, narrow questions and may be limited to specific study designs. More information on this type of review can be found on this page of our guide.
  • According to Arksey and O'Malley, a scoping review aims to address broader, more complex, and exploratory research questions where many different study designs may be applicable. More information on this type of review can be found on this page of our guide
  • Resources for realist and rapid reviews can be found on this page.

Guidance on the process of conducting knowledge syntheses begins on this page.

 

Systematic review service

Systematic review service

For more information about librarian assistance in conducting a knowledge synthesis, please visit our systematic review service page.

Contact us

Find a librarian in your subject area to help you with your knowledge synthesis project.

 

Or contact the librarians at the
Schulich Library of Physical Sciences, Life Sciences, and Engineering
schulich.library@mcgill.ca
514-398-4769

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