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Scoping reviews and structured research synthesis in sport: methods, protocol and lessons learnt

Dowling, M and Leopkey, B and Inoue, Y and Berg, BK and Smith, L (2020) Scoping reviews and structured research synthesis in sport: methods, protocol and lessons learnt. International Journal of Sport Policy and Politics. ISSN 1940-6940

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Abstract

© 2020 Informa UK Limited, trading as Taylor & Francis Group. Research synthesis is an essential part of the research process that we argue has been underutilised by sport policy and management researchers. This commentary seeks to advance the discussion surrounding research synthesis by introducing scoping reviews as a potentially useful approach to synthesising research evidence. In doing so, we provide an overview of current methods and protocols of the scoping approach and critically reflect upon the value and utility of scoping reviews by highlighting the lessons learnt from two previous scoping studies within the field. Our analysis indicates that scoping reviews provide a useful alternative approach to synthesising research for select research topics providing that strict protocol is adhered to and are appropriately operationalised. More broadly, our intention is to generate further discussion and debate surrounding research synthesis within the sport policy and management domain and to encourage sport scholars to adopt more structured approaches to synthesise research evidence.

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