Synthesis and Summaries

Course Outline for Synthesis and Summaries Training

Course overview

An introduction to summarising and synthesising the evidence. This course aims to provide participants with the knowledge and practical skills required for undertaking evidence summaries and synthesis. 

The course will cover best practice in collating, selecting and summarising the evidence and how to take summaries to the next level in generating an evidence synthesis.

Michelle Maden will share practical tips and good practice when collating the evidence base to create summaries and evidence synthesis.


Attendance at all 3 sessions is required. Participants will be expected to attend a flipped classroom prior to attending a webinar.

This requires participants to undertake exercises prior to attending a webinar to replicate the summary/synthesis process.  This will enable them to get the most out of the webinar sessions.

There are 3 weeks between the webinars to allow participants time to practice their skills.

Intended audience

Healthcare knowledge and library specialists serving the NHS who are responsible for delivering evidence searching services as an element of their work.   

This session is aimed at staff who have not done this training before

To note this course does not involve training in evidence searching.

Learning outcomes

The course will be delivered via a series of flipped classrooms, mentorship and webinars designed to replicate the process for producing an evidence summary and synthesis.

By the end of the session participants will:

  • Observe examples of evidence summaries and synthesis 
  • Develop skills and knowledge to undertake evidence summarising and synthesis in their work
  • Have an opportunity to practice their skills in a supportive environment

PKSB areas covered

3.6 Information appraisal

3.7 Abstracting and summarising

3.8 Information synthesis and integration

9.4 Desk research

9.5 Statistics and statistical analysis

13.6 Communication skills

Course facilitators

Dr Michelle Maden has over 15 years’ experience of undertaking evidence synthesis, authoring and co-authoring different types of evidence synthesis (systematic review, scoping review, realist review, critical interpretive synthesis, mixed-methods review) and been involved in the publication of several NIHR evidence synthesis and NICE economic reviews.

Michelle is a qualified Information Specialist andthe creator of the LIHNN Literature Searching MOOC (now available as e-Learning modules) and co-author (content development) of Health Education England ‘How to Search the Literature Effectively’.

After taking time out to complete her PhD (‘Incorporating considerations of health inequalities in evidence synthesis’), Michelle now works within an evidence synthesis research group as a Postdoctoral Research Associate in Evidence Synthesis.

Page last reviewed: 16 November 2021
Next review due: 30 November 2022