Title

Conceptual Issues in Research Synthesis

Abstract

In its short history meta-analysis has been the object of both high praise and pointed criticism. This paper explores the conceptual bases of the controversy. Meta-analytic and traditional research reviews are compared on 4 dimensions: scientific rigor, detecting small effects, problems of oversimplification, and potential policy impact. It is argued that choice of procedures should be determined by the specific purpose of a review rather than by canon. The author cites the benefits of viewing meta-analysis as a flexible arsenal of quantitative tools rather than a unitary method. Several future goals for the developing science of research synthesis are discussed.

Publication Date

4-1984

Journal Title

Journal of Special Education

Publisher

Sage Publications

Digital Object Identifier (DOI)

10.1177/002246698401800105

Document Type

Article