Synthetic Research

Published: 2021/11/22
Number of words: 1976


Synthesis can be described as combining information from several sources to come up with a concept. It is concerned with using different ideas from various sources to come up with a suitable project. Synthesis is necessary, especially during the upper level of studies like university degrees and doctorates. Synthesis helps establish students’ understanding of research and various projects during their studies and research for academic awards. For effective and successful completion of synthesis, it is prudent to analyze different pieces of literature. Seek a full understanding of different ideas from different authors. Accessing several works of different authors would provide a broader view of a particular subject and study, leading to a vast knowledge of that particular subject. Another important key to a good synthesis is organizing oneself. It is important to put together different materials, analyze how they vary in content and their critiques. When doing a qualitative research study, the goal is to uncover the motives that underpin people’s ideas and feelings and determine whether these motivations impact their behaviours and decisions. When conducting this type of research, a variety of settings can be used. However, in the current study, the focus is on pharmacy practice and how people behave regarding medication use (for example, to understand better patients’ reasons for no adherence to medication therapy or investigate physicians’ resistance to pharmacists’ clinical recommendations). One of the most important characteristics of qualitative research is that no attempt is made to generalize the findings to a larger population. This is one of the most crucial components of qualitative research, and it should not be overlooked. Through qualitative research, it is possible to get insight into the thoughts of people and their feelings.


Synthesis research entails combining information from different primary sources to produce a hypothesis in doctoral student study ((Cathy) Ames et al., 2018). The process is relevant in both qualitative and quantitative research. It aims to validate and utilize different sources of information and make their application acquire a broader scope in the field of study. In addition, it aims to extract more knowledge from different primary sources of information. In other words, it is a process of linking information from two or more scholarly sources to provide evidence and experience regarding a particular field of study. Research synthesis is useful in all scopes of life, ranging from medicine, policymaking to administration. It facilitates the generation of adequate information necessary to inform choices and decision making in various spectrums of life. This synthetic paper analyses various methods of research synthesis. It describes both the qualitative and quantitative research methodologies and their significance in doctoral studies. In addition, it provides recommendations for future trends in research.

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Methodologies of Research Synthesis

There are several different ways in which doctoral students can carry out research synthesis for their projects. They include but are not limited to meta-ethnography, meta-study, grounded theory, ecological triangulation, and meta-narrative.

Meta-ethnography refers to bringing two different parts of a study to form a single piece of knowledge (Bainbridge et al., 2019). In this study, the product of the two sources of information is greater than the two sources. It requires a researcher to be more innovative to combine various information from different sources to develop a deep and comprehensive knowledge from a particular study. The method also provides for comparative rather than aggregating the available data. In addition, meta-ethnography would provide solutions on putting together various data to build and develop an impressive synthesis. Meta-ethnography incorporates three different methods of data synthesis. It involves the translation of information or the whole concept (Chakraverty, 2020). The translation is necessary for research synthesis to expand the concept of various entities that might not be well conversant with the original language use in the study. Secondly, meta-ethnography accommodates for refutational synthesis that seeks to reconcile the contradictory pieces of information between two or more different sources of study. The last method under meta-ethnography is Lines-of-argument which seeks to develop and establish a clear picture of the entire culture of any given system or organization from studies of its constituents.

Grounded Theory Methodology

Grounded theory is found to be more useful in the field of nursing. The theory includes simultaneous collection and analysis of data (Emmioglu et al., 2017). It employs steady methodology comparison, theoretical sampling aiming to acquire theoretical saturation. The method also involves developing and coming up with new theories from different data analyses. It involves understanding various phenomena and conceptualizing particular applicable research to nursing. To understand how care is administered to individual patients in Africa and America, it is necessary to apply the ground theory method to develop proper analytical techniques to provide appropriate and adequate information necessary for policymaking, implementation and adoption. The method seeks to simultaneously collect data and analyze it to generate new perspectives and theories in qualitative research. It is important in the field of study to develop and establish new ideas and theories for sustainability. The grounded theory method to synthesis research provides learners with a solution to collect and analyze data to develop different pieces of knowledge to be applied in the future.

Meta-Study Methodology

Meta-study methodology in research synthesis is a multi-faceted perspective that incorporates three processes in its study (McClendon et al., 2017). The approach seeks to analyze findings, methods, and theories. These three different elements can be carried out simultaneously to establish the concept of meta-study. The method seeks to reconcile primary and secondary research and links the data to form ideological, historical, and sociological contexts. In cases where other research has contradicting or multiple findings, meta-study is an effective approach to reconciling such findings. It seeks to establish and examine similarities and discrepancies that exist in the context of various phenomena. The method seeks to examine individual researchers’ various methodologies, thereby considering their data collection, research design, and sampling techniques. The method provides explanation and interpretational accounts for the three elements of meta-study. In addition, it seeks to scrutinize both theoretical and philosophical tenets of various research papers. However, this can be a significant weakness of the method due to failure in its implications.

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Meta-Narrative Methodology

Contemporary problems call for complex policymaking processes and various shreds of evidence to influence such processes (Noonan, 2015). In light of acquiring such evidence, there was a great need to develop meta-narrative synthesis in research. According to Thomas Khun in his writings, The Structure of Scientific Revolutions, knowledge is acquired through specific paradigms. That knowledge is a product of the legitimate objective of the study, the legitimate research problems, and the components of the findings of a study. Paradigms are established over time and within particular procedures (Rogers-Shaw et al., 2015). Meta-narrative provide various ways of understanding contradicting information from various studies. It also seeks to establish and develop innovative scope to health sector and questions of deliveries to various organizations.


Research synthesis is very significant in the field of study, and it is necessary to continue learning processes (Skakni, 2018). In acquiring a wide scope of knowledge, as discussed above, it is necessary to consider the above research synthesis methods. These methods differ in various ways but have significant and amazing similarities in developing and building up theories and new projects based on existing data (Wisker, 2015). The impeccable and exponential rise in scholarly publications demands integrative and informative reviews to develop a comprehensive and detailed synthesis system of a specific field of inquiry. Therefore, modern researchers have developed novel methodologies for synthesizing multi-faceted and heterogeneous studies. These novel methodologies provide in-depth and efficient research synthesis for future sustainability. It has also obtained legitimate policies that seek a friendly environment and improve communication between and among stakeholders.


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Bainbridge, C., Maul, J., & McClendon, C. (2019). Ten strategic points: A framework for doctoral dissertations students to conceptualize their research design in a doctoral residency program. Journal of Instructional Research8(2), 10-21.

Chakraverty, D. (2020). PhD student experiences with the impostor phenomenon in STEM. International Journal of Doctoral Studies15, 159-179. doi:10.28945/4513

Emmioglu, E., McAlpine, L., & Amundsen, C. (2017). Doctoral students’ experience of feeling (Or not) like an academic. International Journal of Doctoral Studies12, 73-90. doi:10.28945/3727

McClendon, C., Neugebauer, R. M., & King, A. (2017). Grit, growth mindset, and deliberate Practice in online learning. Journal of Instructional Research6, 8-17. doi:10.9743/jir.2017.2

Noonan, S. J. (2015). Doctoral pedagogy in stage one: Forming a scholarly identity. InternationalJournal of Educational Leadership Preparation10, 2-28.

Rogers-Shaw, C., Carr-Chellman, D., (2018). Developing care and socio-emotional learning in First-year doctoral students: Building capacity for success. International Journal of DoctoralStudies13, 233-253. doi:10.28945/4064

Skakni, I. (2018). Doctoral studies as an initiatory trial: Expected and taken-for-granted practices That impedes PhD students’ progress. Teaching in Higher Education23(8), 927-944. doi:10.1080/13562517.2018.1449742

Wisker, G. (2015). Developing doctoral authors: Engaging with theoretical perspectives through The literature review. Innovations

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