Each of the commissioned authors was sent copies of the papers that the staff had categorized as relevant to that author’s topic. In addition, staff assigned to each author the responsibility for annotating a number of papers. In general, the paper was assigned to the author for whom the study was most relevant, but studies addressing multiple components of the education system were distributed to equalize the load among authors.
The commissioned authors agreed to evaluate the bibliographic entries relevant to their topics and to write each annotation to include the following:
A statement regarding the nature of the work, whether the paper describes conceptual or experimental research, and the type(s) of data used by the researcher(s)
The overall purpose of the paper, including methods the researchers used to collect and evaluate that data;
The methodological rigor of the research enterprise;
The inferences that were drawn;
A statement regarding the findings in terms of the areas of influence listed in the inclusion criteria.
Authors were encouraged to add other studies with which they were familiar to the original set of 245 items identified so that the project could provide a more comprehensive bibliography to the field.
The next chapter contains the entire bibliography for the project, including (1) all 245 items identified through the literature search and processed using the inclusion criteria, (2) additional studies that were either published after the search or added by the authors, and (3) references that are cited in this publication for background, but that do not provide research evidence regarding the influence of the NSES.
Annotations are included for the research studies that authors discuss in their review papers and that ground their arguments and conclusions. In cases where a series of studies are included, the most recent one is annotated and earlier ones are mentioned in that annotation. While all annotations have been written using the same guidelines (as noted above), they vary in style and length due to the fact that many different people wrote them. The authors’ rationale explaining how studies were singled out for inclusion in their reviews is contained within each author’s paper and is not part of the bibliography.