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Knowledge Synthesis & Systematic Reviews

What is an Integrative Review?

Integrative reviews identify, gather, evaluate, and interpret research on a topic from across different disciplines and research traditions. Researchers examine the lenses used to examine the topic by these different groups in order to inform a new perspective on the topic by "[building] bridges across communities of practice in the field and [uncovering] connections to other related disciplines. As such, it can provide a breadth of view beyond that of other synthesis vehicles". 

Literature searches for these types of reviews are exhaustive. Because Integrative reviews incorporate theory and research from diferent disciplines and research traditions, researchers must posess (or gain) enough knowledge of various research methodologies and ontologies that they can successfully evaluate and interpret the literature identified in the course of completing the review.

Opinions on the usefulness and methodological quality of integrative reviews vary, and these reviews are no longer as popular as they once were. 


Recommended Resources

Comments on Scoping Reviews vs. Integrative Reviews (JBI training Q&A)


Cronin, M. A., & George, E. (2020). The Why and How of the Integrative Review. Organizational Research Methods, 0(0).