empirical research methods

This report was commissioned by IRISS (Institute for Research and Innovation in Social Services) in 2008.  Its aim was to establish a wider context for practitioner research and to explore its impact on practice. It identifies two distinct forms of literature. First, there is literature that conceptualises, theorises, researches or evaluates practitioner research. Secondly, there is literature that is practitioner research. The review considers both forms and draws together a series of questions that emerge.

Developing research methods is central to the EPPI-Centre’s work. The EPPI-Centre's Methods for Synthesis (MRS) programme is one of five nodes of the ESCR’s National Centre for Research methods (NCRM). The MRS programme develops methodology in research synthesis and builds capacity by offering training and support. This topic is included in the EPPI-Centre knowledge library. The Knowledge Pages facility enables users to search for the key messages within specific subject areas to which EPPI-Centre reviews have contributed.

This report provides a number of examples of research that are deliberately or inadvertently developing methods for synthesising evidence from diverse sources. It is a part of a larger SCIE programme of work focused on using knowledge in social care. It provides a partial picture of methodological work synthesising evidence from research using diverse research designs. It looks at work both on the synthesis of qualitative evidence and on the synthesis of qualitative and quantitative evidence.