Cooper, H., Hedges, L. V., & Valentine, J. (Eds.) (2009). The handbook of research synthesis,2ndEdition. New York: Russell Sage.
When the first edition of The Handbook of Research Synthesis was published in 1994, it quickly became the definitive reference for researchers conducting meta-analyses of existing research in both the social and biological sciences. In this fully revised second edition, editors Harris Cooper, Larry Hedges, and Jeff Valentine present updated versions of the Handbook’s classic chapters, as well as entirely new sections reporting on the most recent, cutting-edge developments in the field.
Research synthesis is the practice of systematically distilling and integrating data from a variety of sources in order to draw more reliable conclusions about a given question or topic. The Handbook of Research Synthesis and Meta-Analysis draws upon years of groundbreaking advances that have transformed research synthesis from a narrative craft into an important scientific process in its own right. Cooper, Hedges, and Valentine have assembled leading authorities in the field 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 and Meta-Analysis incorporates state-of-the-art techniques from all quantitative synthesis traditions. Distilling a vast technical literature and many informal sources, the Handbook provides a portfolio of the most effective solutions to the problems of quantitative data integration. Among the statistical issues addressed by the authors are the synthesis of non-independent data sets, fixed and random effects methods, the performance of sensitivity analyses and model assessments, and the problem of missing data.
The Handbook of Research Synthesis and Meta-Analysis also provides a rich treatment of the non-statistical aspects of research synthesis. Topics include searching the literature, and developing schemes for gathering information from study reports. Those engaged in research synthesis will also find useful advice on how tables, graphs, and narration can be used to provide the most meaningful communication of the results of research synthesis. In addition, the editors address the potentials and limitations of research synthesis, and its future directions.
The past decade has been a period of enormous growth in the field of research synthesis. The second editionHandbook thoroughly revises original chapters to assure that the volume remains the most authoritative source of information for researchers undertaking meta-analysis today. In response to the increasing use of research synthesis in the formation of public policy, the second edition includes a new chapter on both the strengths and limitations of research synthesis in policy debates.