Quality standards for realist syntheses and meta-narrative reviews

This paper, written by Geoff Wong, Trish Greenhalgh, Gill Westhrop and Ray Pawson for The RAMESES project outlines a set of quality standards for conducting realist syntheses and/or meta-narrative reviews. These standards are aimed at supporting researchers, peer‐reviewers or funders/commissioners of research with guidance to ensure academic rigour when using these research methods.


"Our work in the field of realist syntheses and/or meta narrative reviews clearly indicated to us that guidance on what might be considered as high quality in the execution of these two review methods were needed. We were funded as part of the  RAMESES (Realist And Meta‐narrative Evidence Syntheses: Evolving Standards) project to produce these quality standards.

In these notes, we explain how we have set about producing the quality standards for:

1) Researchers and peer‐reviewers using these methods

2) Funders/commissioners of research

Whilst the core components of the quality standards we have developed are the same for each of the two ‘versions’ listed above, we have adapted each one in an attempt to make them more focussed and useful for the intended users." (Wong, Greenhalgh, Westhrop and Pawson)


Wong, G., Greenhalgh, T., Westhrop, G., and Pawson, R., Quality standards for realist syntheses and meta-narrative reviews, The RAMESES Project. Retrieved from: http://www.ramesesproject.org/media/Quality_standards_for_RS_and_MNR_v3final.pdf

'Quality standards for realist syntheses and meta-narrative reviews' is referenced in: