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Handbook of Meta-analysis in Ecology and Evolution$
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Julia Koricheva, Jessica Gurevitch, and Kerrie Mengersen

Print publication date: 2013

Print ISBN-13: 9780691137285

Published to Princeton Scholarship Online: October 2017

DOI: 10.23943/princeton/9780691137285.001.0001

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First Steps in Beginning a Meta-analysis

First Steps in Beginning a Meta-analysis

Chapter:
(p.27) 3 First Steps in Beginning a Meta-analysis
Source:
Handbook of Meta-analysis in Ecology and Evolution
Author(s):

Gavin B. Stewart

Isabelle M. Côté

Hannah R. Rothstein

Peter S. Curtis

Publisher:
Princeton University Press
DOI:10.23943/princeton/9780691137285.003.0003

This chapter discusses the initiation of the process of systematic research synthesis. Without a systematic approach to defining, obtaining, and collating data, meta-analyses may yield precise but erroneous results, with different types of sampling error (biases) and excess subjectivity in choice of methods and definition of thresholds; these devalue the rigor of any statistical approaches employed. The chapter considers exactly the same issues that face an ecologist designing a field experiment. What's the question? How can I define my sampling universe? How should I collect my data? What analyses should I undertake? How should I interpret my results robustly? These questions are considered in the context of research synthesis.

Keywords:   systematic research synthesis, meta-analysis, sampling, data collection, sample error, subjectivity

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