Onwuegbuzie, Leech, and Collins (2012) demonstrated how the following 5 qualitative data analysis approaches can be used to analyze and to synthesize information extracted from a literature review: constant comparison analysis, domain analysis, taxonomic analysis, componential analysis, and theme analysis. In a similar vein, Onwuegbuzie and Frels (2014) outlined how discourse analysis can be used. Thus, the purpose of this article is to provide a framework for using another qualitative data analysis technique to analyze and to interpret literature review sources—a process that we call a Qualitative Comparative Analysis-Based Research Synthesis (QCARS). Using a real review of the literature, we illustrate how to conduct a QCARS using a qualitative comparative analysis software program.


Literature Review, Review of the Literature, Qualitative Comparative Analysis, Qualitative Data Analysis, Qualitative Comparative Analysis-Based Research Synthesis

Author Bio(s)

Anthony J. Onwuegbuzie is professor in the Department of Educational Leadership at Sam Houston State University. Further, he is Distinguished Visiting Professor at the University of Johannesburg. He teaches doctoral-level courses in qualitative, quantitative, and mixed research. His research areas include disadvantaged and under-served populations. Additionally, he writes extensively on an array of qualitative, quantitative, and mixed methodological topics. With a current h-index of 74, Dr. Onwuegbuzie has secured the publication of more than 400 works, including more than 300 journal articles, 50 book chapters, and 3 books. Additionally, he has delivered more than 750 presentations and 100 workshops worldwide that include more than 50 keynote addresses across six continents. He has received numerous outstanding paper awards. Dr. Onwuegbuzie is former editor of Educational Researcher (ER), being part of the Editor team (2006-2010) that secured a first impact factor of 3.774. He is currently a co-editor of Research in the Schools, and has been guest editor of six mixed research special issues. In addition, he is editor-in-chief of the International Journal of Multiple Research Methods. Many of his articles have been the most read and cited among articles in their respective journals. For example, his mixed research article published in ER is the most cited ER article ever. Currently, he serves as President of the Mixed Methods International Research Association. His overall goal is to be a role model for beginning researchers and students worldwide. Correspondence regarding this article can be addressed directly to: tonyonwuegbuzie@aol.com.

Rebecca Weinbaum is a Licensed Professional Counselor-Supervisor and Counselor Educator at Lamar University, Texas, USA. A former music educator and school counselor, her research and scholarly writing is in the areas of research methodology, mentoring, and student success. She has written or co-authored more than 30 articles and three book chapters. She has served as Production Editor for Research in the Schools and Guest Co-Editor for the International Journal of Multiple Research Approaches. International experience includes facilitating research courses for the Organization for Social Science Research in Eastern and Southern Africa (OSSREA) in Kenya, Uganda, and Tanzania and courses with the Universidad de UNIBE, San Jose, Costa Rica and Universidad IberoAmericana in Puebla, Mexico. Recently, she combined her passion of both mixed methods and mentoring creating for Oxford Handbook for Mixed and Multiple Method Research a book chapter titled Mentoring the Next Generation of Mixed and Multiple Method Researchers. She and her co-author Anthony Onwuegbuzie have developed the critical dialectical pluralistic approach for mixed research for promoting the voice of participants as decision-makers and co-researchers in the research process. Currently, she is conducting research in the area of peer mentoring in higher education—incorporating outreach through technology and social media. Correspondence regarding this article can also be addressed directly to: Rebecca Weinbaum, Department of Counseling and Special Populations, Box 10039, Lamar University, Beaumont Texas 77701; email: rebecca.frels@gmail.com.

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