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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

(p.27) 3 First Steps in Beginning a Meta-analysis
Handbook of Meta-analysis in Ecology and Evolution

Gavin B. Stewart

Isabelle M. Côté

Hannah R. Rothstein

Peter S. Curtis

Princeton University Press

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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