Source: Review of Educational Research, Volume 79, Issue 1; p. 395-430, (March 2009).
The dominant literature on research synthesis methods has positivist and neopositivist origins. In recent years, the landscape of research synthesis methods has changed rapidly to become inclusive.
The paper highlights methodologically inclusive advancements in research synthesis methods. Attention is drawn to insights from interpretive, critical, and participatory traditions for enhancing trustworthiness, utility, and/or emancipatory potential for research syntheses.
Also noted is a paucity of the literature that builds connections between methodologically diverse segments of the literature on research synthesis methods.
Salient features of a methodologically inclusive research synthesis (MIRS) framework are described.
The MIRS framework has been conceptualized by distilling and synthesizing ideas, theories, and strategies from the extensive literatures on research synthesis methods and primary research methods.
Rather than prescribe how a research synthesis should be conducted or evaluated, this paper attempts to open spaces, raise questions, explore possibilities, and contest taken-for-granted practices.