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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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Gathering Data: Searching Literature and Selection Criteria

Gathering Data: Searching Literature and Selection Criteria

(p.37) 4 Gathering Data: Searching Literature and Selection Criteria
Handbook of Meta-analysis in Ecology and Evolution

Isabelle M. Côté

Peter S. Curtis

Hannah R. Rothstein

Gavin B. Stewart

Princeton University Press

There is an important relationship between how thorough and unbiased the search for relevant data is and the validity of the resulting meta-analysis. Many reviewers fail to uncover citations to documents relevant to their project because of inadequate search tools or strategies. This chapter covers literature searching and information retrieval, as well as the application of study selection (inclusion) criteria. Best practices include carrying out an initial scoping study to assess how much literature is available and whether a systematic review and meta-analysis are possible; developing an explicit search protocol which details exactly how you will go about searching the literature; and outlining clear study selection criteria so that the reasons for inclusion or exclusion of studies are transparent.

Keywords:   meta-analysis, data collection, data gathering, scoping search, literature search, study selection

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