How to Conduct a Meta-Analysis Using Open-Science Software

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How to Conduct a Meta-Analysis Using Open-Science Software

VU Amsterdam Summer School
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Beschrijving

With the increasing use of alternative software packages like R in data analysis, now is the time to learn their ins and outs. The large number of active programmers creating R packages makes this an up-to-date programme providing a huge range of statistical analyses. Researchers also use R to write functions for analysing data, or to create professional plots.

“Systematic reviews and meta-analyses are essential tools for summarizing evidence accurately and reliably (…)” (Liberati et al., p. 1). Currently, meta-analysis is a widely applied technique. It applies to many of today’s issues surrounding scientific research. It can be used not only to reach conclusions regarding the overall effec…

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With the increasing use of alternative software packages like R in data analysis, now is the time to learn their ins and outs. The large number of active programmers creating R packages makes this an up-to-date programme providing a huge range of statistical analyses. Researchers also use R to write functions for analysing data, or to create professional plots.

“Systematic reviews and meta-analyses are essential tools for summarizing evidence accurately and reliably (…)” (Liberati et al., p. 1). Currently, meta-analysis is a widely applied technique. It applies to many of today’s issues surrounding scientific research. It can be used not only to reach conclusions regarding the overall effect of proven correlation, but it is also essential for finding and estimating publication bias. The meta-analysis is also useful when conducting a priori power analysis to design sample size.

During this course, students will learn how to formulate a problem and analyze it conducting a meta-analysis in JASP, an open-science software. Also, students will practice a wide-and-far literature search and will learn how to report their findings following the PRISMA standards. Students will learn the basics of how to prepare and describe a meta-analytical study in a separate article. They will see how to apply this technique to summarise studies found in a manuscript in order to improve the cohesion and “publishability.”

This course is taught in the form of an interactive seminar, in which students will complete four individual assignments, one each day. After submission of each assignment, students will receive feedback.

There will be discussions on the following topics:

  • Two types of systematic reviews
  • Open science and meta-analysis: multisite replications
  • Pros and cons of meta-analysis
  • Publication bias and quality of publications
  • Effect size and how to calculate it
  • Literature search, exclusion, inclusion, and coding
  • Heterogeneity and its consequences
  • Available software, including JASP
  • Fixed- and random-effects model
  • Estimating overall effect size
  • Analysis of moderators

Additionally, students will become familiar with examples of published research to learn more about how to analyse them.

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