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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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Extraction and Critical Appraisal of Data

Extraction and Critical Appraisal of Data

Chapter:
(p.52) 5 Extraction and Critical Appraisal of Data
Source:
Handbook of Meta-analysis in Ecology and Evolution
Author(s):

Peter S. Curtis

Kerrie Mengersen

Marc J. Lajeunesse

Hannah R. Rothstein

Gavin B. Stewart

Publisher:
Princeton University Press
DOI:10.23943/princeton/9780691137285.003.0005

This chapter discusses the data extraction process, meta-analysis database, and critical appraisal of data. The efficient and accurate extraction of data from primary studies is an important component of successful research reviews. It is one of the most time-consuming parts of a research review and should be approached with the goal of repeatability and transparency of results. Careful definition of the research question and identification of the effect size metric(s) to be used are prerequisites to efficient data extraction. The extraction spreadsheet may simply be appended to a growing database stored in a single spreadsheet (also known as “flat file database”) (e.g., Microsoft Excel, Lotus, Quattro Pro), but it may be advantageous to develop relational databases (e.g., by using Microsoft Access, Paradox or dBase software), particularly for large or complex data. During the process of data extraction the investigator also has an opportunity for critical appraisal of data quality. One approach to quantitative assessment of study quality has been the use of numerical scales in which points are assigned to specific elements of the study and summed to produce an overall quality score.

Keywords:   data extraction, data appraisal, meta-analysis database, study quality, data quality

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