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Your Thesis: literature, ethics, methods and publishing

Conducting a meta-analysis

There are two special types of literature reviews:

Systematic reviews are a more systematic way of conducting a literature review than your standard literature review, where the methods used to find and select studies to be included in the review are recorded in great detail so that another researcher could replicate your methods exactly. A meta-analysis is different to a systematic review and involves quantitatively combining multiple studies on a given topic. Your supervisor is likely the best person for advice on which review process to consider.


Meta-analysis software

There are several types of software programs available for meta-analysis. The following examples are a few of the more popular programs; however, there are many more available. The first four programs are freeware and can be downloaded directly from your computer:

There may be advantages to purchasing commercial meta-analysis programs (for example accessing downloadable demonstration programs and academic program versions). A popular product is Comprehensive Meta-Analysis, which can be downloaded from http://www.meta-analysis.com/pages/comparisons.html.


Books on how to do a meta-analysis