Week 12: Meta-Analysis

April 3, 2018

Nearly every scientist will have to do a literature review at some point. Many will have to do this quantitatively. In this lecture we explore the concept of the meta-analysis - what they are, what they’re for, and how to do them well.

Lecture Topics

  • Systematic vs. unsystematic literature reviews
  • Introduction to the term “Meta-Analysis”
  • Basic logic of MA, including effect sizes
  • PRISMA and MA reporting

By the end of this class


Please read:

Please skim:



There are several R packages that can be used to conduct meta-analysis. I’ve used the first one, and dabbled in the second. I have no experience with the third, but it looks good.

This textbook is godlike, and is a must-have if you intend to embark on a meta-analysis:

Additional handy resources:

And some food-for-thought about MA drawbacks:

Define your MA properly:

Don’t ask silly MA questions:

Bonus points if you download and cite my MA from my Ph.D (kidding) (not really) (no, really I am kidding) (or am I?) Note especially our supplementary material, including a tracking spreadsheet for the literature included and excluded in the MA.


No R code this week.


Slides available on Speakerdeck