IASESE - Evidence Synthesis of Qualitative Research

1/2 day school: 21 September 2012


Comparing and contrasting evidence from multiple studies is necessary to build knowledge and reach conclusions about the empirical support for a phenomenon. Therefore, research synthesis is at the center of the scientific enterprise in the software engineering discipline. Research synthesis is a collective term for a family of methods that are used to summarize, integrate, combine, and compare the findings of different studies on a specific topic or research question. These methods embody the idea of making a new whole out of the parts to provide novel concepts and higher-order interpretations, novel explanatory frameworks, an argument, new or enhanced theories, or conclusions.

The goal of this year’s IASESE is to explain the concept of research synthesis, some highly relevant qualitative and mixed-methods approaches, and to discuss challenges in synthesizing software engineering research and their implications for the progress of research and practice.

Who will benefit from the school?

No formal experience is required. Working knowledge of standard systematic review methods, or a background in qualitative research methods, will be an advantage, but not essential.

  • Qualitative researchers who want to learn how to synthesize qualitative research
  • Systematic reviewers who want to learn how to apply synthesis methods to qualitative data
  • PhD students in topic areas that require substantive review of qualitative research
  • New researchers who want to develop evidence synthesis/systematic reviews
  • Qualitative systematic reviewers who want to update and extend their skills and knowledge

What Will Participants Take Away?

By the end of the seminar participants will be able to come away with a “toolbox” of synthesis methods, a clear understanding of the value of each method, and a set of pointers to resources with further guidance for applying each method, and how to get started if they wish to apply the methods in their own research.

Detailed Program

  • Introduction
    • Evidence
    • Evidence Based Practice
    • Systematic Reviews
  • Qualitative Research Synthesis

  • Methods For Qualitative Research Synthesis
    • Thematic Synthesis
    • Hands-on Thematic Synthesis
    • Other Methods of Synthesis
  • Summary and Future Research

Presenters and further Information

Dr. Daniela S. Cruzes, Postdoctoral Fellow at the Norwegian University of Science and Technology, and Prof. Tore Dybå, Chief Scientist and Research Manager at SINTEF and Professor at the University of Oslo.

Tore Dybå
Tore Dybå (Tore.Dyba@sintef.no)
Daniella Cruzes
Daniela Cruzes (dcruzes@idi.ntnu.no)