chapter  2
Comparing qualitative research synthesis with other approaches
Pages 17

The question of what can, and should, be done with existing literature has confounded generations of scholars. The resulting efforts to make use of research findings specifically, however, have led to the emergence of a range of approaches that have drawn from ever increasing levels of specialization, criticality and interpretation. These approaches over time have grown more complex and refined in both application and technique. Qualitative research synthesis, which relies upon sophisticated interpretivist methods for implementation, is one approach that has developed from these efforts. In this chapter, we not only identify where qualitative research synthesis falls within the traditions of literature use but also outline its essential features and elements, thus allowing its comparison to other approaches. Finally, we discuss the increasing use of qualitative research synthesis in several professional practice fields.