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Chapter 3 Meta-Synthesis with Information Behaviour Research

New Directions in Information Behaviour

ISBN: 978-1-78052-170-1, eISBN: 978-1-78052-171-8

Publication date: 5 October 2011


Meta-synthesis of the research evidence adds value to the process of literature reviewing, providing useful knowledge for researchers, practitioners and policymakers. The aim of the chapter is to explain what meta-synthesis involves and how it illuminates our understanding of concepts. Previous papers on meta-synthesis (by the author) have reviewed research strategies in information behaviour research and methods for meta-synthesis, discussed application of meta-synthesis to research on information behaviour of women, and proposed methods suitable for integrating information literacy research. Meta-synthesis methods have been applied to many areas of social science research. The literature review examines how to reduce the risks involved in suitable for integrating qualitative research or qualitative and quantitative research; outlines the main approaches used in meta-synthesis before explaining the processes used in a meta-synthesis of research on information behaviour of women, reflects on the meta-synthesis methods used, and which might have been used, and shows what meta-synthesis achieves. Meta-synthesis should be used more in information behaviour research, but it is a rigorous process, requiring time and effort to get useful results. On the other hand, meta-synthesis provides more new knowledge, and a deeper understanding of our ideas, than a conventional literature review.


Urquhart, C. (2011), "Chapter 3 Meta-Synthesis with Information Behaviour Research", Spink, A. and Heinström, J. (Ed.) New Directions in Information Behaviour (Library and Information Science, Vol. 1), Emerald Group Publishing Limited, Leeds, pp. 37-66.



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