U.S. Joint Fire Science Program


Date of this Version


Document Type



Final Report, Joint Fire Science Program, Project 11-S-2-4


US government work.


What constitutes a high-quality synthesis for wildland managers? Syntheses are often requested by managers and many have been produced by scientists, but they may not always hit the mark. This project integrated guidelines from the literature with reflections from interviews with natural resource professionals (scientists, managers, and science delivery specialists) to develop guidelines for increasing the usefulness of syntheses for managers. Different kinds of syntheses serve different needs. Narrative syntheses are the most common form published for wildland managers. This format allows the author to include background information and incorporate detailed explanations and case studies. Peer-reviewed literature reviews and systematic reviews are more rigorous formats, which may be especially useful in resolving specific management issues; however, these formats may be more constrained than narrative reviews in regard to length, extent of background information, and information sources used. The most important thing to do, to ensure that a synthesis is useful to managers, is to include managers, science delivery specialists, and scientists throughout the development process. The planning stage requires thorough discussion among all stakeholders. Managers may be particularly helpful in fully developing the management applications. Science delivery specialists have a great deal to offer in regard to format, content, packaging, and delivery of syntheses.