These materials are great for getting up to speed quickly on a topic, policy issue, or court case. They are sometimes called "secondary" or "tertiary" sources --a step or two removed from empirical data gathering, these sources summarize, synthesis, and analyze.
- Review or synthesis articles provide a summary of research published on a topic. Meta-analyses go a step further in providing statistical comparison of empirical evidence on a given topic. Prof. Wilson says, "These are usually quite long and comprehensive, but can give you a great overview of the field, and ideas for organizing topics around analytic questions."
- Education policy journals are more narrowly focused than broader education journals and can provide detailed history of a given issue
- Law review articles provide detailed analysis of court cases and legal issues
- Education bibliographies provide lists of relevant resources on a topic - (Linds calls these "the jackpot," especially for an unfamiliar topic)
- Education handbooks can be highly specialized within education and also summarize an issue or research method, and suggest other sources