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Technical Report: Standards of Evidence for Empirical Research, Math and Science Partnership Knowledge Management and Dissemination


Document Introduction: These standards were developed in order to guide the review for methodological integrity and evidentiary utility of existing published research studies. This review will provide information about the state of the knowledge base for a given area of investigation so that rigorous reviews of the knowledge can be generated. The intent for this codebook is to provide a means of systematic review for key indicators which determine a study's level of methodological integrity.

The resulting standards of evidence, and the process for applying them, result in a careful review of the claims of individual studies to provide ratings based on specific indicators, operationalized for different research methodologies, and narrative justifications for these ratings in six areas:

1. Adequate documentation
2. Internal validity
3. Analytic precision
4. Generalizability/external validity determination
5. Overall fit
6. Warrants for claims

Applying the standards of evidence is not intended to cast blanket "good/bad" or "in/out" judgments on studies, nor is it to suggest that all studies should be strong on every standard. Rather the standards of evidence are meant to aid our understanding of the strengths and limitations of each study's contributions to the knowledge base.