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Which review is that? A guide to review types.

A typology of literature reviews

Thematic Synthesis


"Similar to analysis of primary qualitative datasets, thematic synthesis involves the systematic coding of data and generating of descriptive and analytical themes" (Nicholson et al, 2016).


Further Reading/Resources

Barnett-Page, E., & Thomas, J. (2009). Methods for the synthesis of qualitative research: a critical review. BMC medical research methodology, 9(1), 1-11. Full Text

Thomas, J., & Harden, A. (2008). Methods for the thematic synthesis of qualitative research in systematic reviews. BMC medical research methodology, 8(1), 1-10. Full Text



Caskurlu, S., Richardson, J. C., Maeda, Y., & Kozan, K. (2021). The qualitative evidence behind the factors impacting online learning experiences as informed by the community of inquiry framework: A thematic synthesis. Computers & Education, 165, 104111. Full Text


Nicholson, E., Murphy, T., Larkin, P., Normand, C., & Guerin, S. (2016). Protocol for a thematic synthesis to identify key themes and messages from a palliative care research network. BMC research notes, 9(1), 1-5. Full Text