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Centre for Evidence Based Agriculture

How can evidence syntheses help you?

Do you want to know what evidence exists about:

  • a particular topic or question?
  • how effective an intervention is?
  • the impact of an exposure?

Whether your question relates to policy, industry, practice or research a range of different types of evidence synthesis are available and these are described below. All of the evidence syntheses use the same methodology to systematically search for published and unpublished literature and filter it to identify relevant evidence. However, they differ in terms of the motivation of the review, time and finances available, comprehensiveness of the search and conclusions drawn.

Types of synthesis:

Overview of different types of evidence synthesis:

  Systematic Review Systematic Mapping Conservation Synopses Rapid Evidence Assessment Quick Scoping Review

Time duration

7-72 months 6-12 months 12-120 months 5-8 months 3-5 months
Motivation Critical assessment and synthesis of research studies to answer a specific question. To describe the state of knowledge on a focussed or broad topic/question. Evidence relating to actions that a conservationists may employ for a particular species group, habitat or conservation issue. Rapid overview of existing research and synthesis of evidence for a topic/question. Quick overview of research relating to a topic/question.
Uses systematic searching and collation Yes Yes Maybe Yes Yes
Input from external experts Yes Yes Yes Yes Maybe
Systematic map database of studies Maybe Yes No Yes Yes
Critical appraisal of study quality and relevancy and outcomes Yes Maybe No Yes No
Qualitative and quantitative synthesis of findings Yes No No No No
Implications for policy, research, practice Yes Yes No Yes Yes


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