Meta-analysis: Know-how and beyond

Note: all our courses are taught online this year.

“Systematic reviews and meta-analyses are essential tools for summarizing evidence accurately and reliably (…)” (Liberati et al., p. 1). Currently, meta-analysis is a widely applied technique. It applies to many of today’s issues surrounding scientific research. It can be used not only to reach conclusions regarding the overall effect of proven correlation, but it is also essential for finding and estimating publication bias. The meta-analysis is also useful when conducting a priori power analysis to design sample size. 

Course days11-15 January 2021
Course levelMaster, PhD candidates and professionals from all disciplines 
Coordinating lecturerDr. Jacek Buczny
Forms of tuitionInteractive online seminar (using Zoom)
Forms of assessmentFour written assignments consulted with the teacher
Credits3 ECTS
Contact hours30 hours
Tuition feeRead all information about our tuition fees and what's included here  
How to applyFind our application form here 
This course is suitable for Master students, PhD candidates, and professionals who are interested in the application of quantitative data analysis are also very welcome to register for this course. This course takes inspiration from the disciplines of economics and business studies, as well as social and behavioral sciences. If you have doubts about your eligibility for the course, please contact us: [email protected]
It is expected that students have already successfully completed a standard course in statistics. The coursework demands the need to understand the concepts of effect size, statistical power, and generalizability. Also, it is encouraged to be interested in reproducibility and replicability in scientific research (open science). Laptop with JASP installed is a must.

During this course, students will learn how to formulate a problem and analyze it conducting a meta-analysis in JASP, an open-science software. Also, students will practice a wide-and-far literature search and will learn how to report their findings following the PRISMA standards. Students will learn the basics of how to prepare and describe a meta-analytical study in a separate article. They will see how to apply this technique to summarise studies found in a manuscript in order to improve the cohesion and “publishability.”

This course is taught in the form of an interactive seminar, in which students will complete four individual assignments, one each day. After submission of each assignment, students will receive feedback.

There will be discussions on the following topics:

  • Two types of systematic reviews
  • Open science and meta-analysis: multisite replications
  • Pros and cons of meta-analysis
  • Publication bias and quality of publications
  • Effect size and how to calculate it
  • Literature search, exclusion, inclusion, and coding
  • Heterogeneity and its consequences
  • Available software, including JASP
  • Fixed- and random-effects model
  • Estimating overall effect size
  • Analysis of moderators

Additionally, students will become familiar with examples of published research to learn more about how to analyse them. 

At the end of this course, students will be able to: 
•    Formulate a research question to conduct a meta-analysis; 
•    Carry out an expansive literary search; 
•    Systematically review relevant literature; 
•    Code studies fitting inclusion criteria; 
•    Meta-analyze the coded effects using JASP software; 
•    Interpret and report the meta-analytic results; 
•    Apply PRISMA standards into a report. 

Borenstein, M., Hedges, L. V., Higgins, J. P. T., & Rothstein, H. R. (2009). Introduction to meta-analysis. New York: Wiley. 

Liberati, A., Altman, D. G., Tetzlaff, J., Mulrow, C., Gøtzsche, P. C., Ioannidis, J. P. A., et al. (2009). The PRISMA statement for reporting systematic reviews and meta-analyses of studies that evaluate health care interventions: Explanation and elaboration. PLOS Medicine, 6, e1000100. doi:10.1371/journal.pmed.1000100 

Recommended additional sources: 
•    Meta-Analysis in JASP 
•    Meta-Research 

Dr. Jacek Buczny is an assistant professor in Department of Experimental and Applied Psychology, VU Amsterdam. At University at Albany, USA, he received a post-doctoral training. He has extensive expertise in teaching and applying in his research many paradigms and designs. He conducts research in order to understand relationships between self-regulatory processes and decision-making mechanisms, studying behavior in healthy and psychopathological samples. He has published in Personality and Individual Differences, Motivation and Emotion, Frontiers in Psychology, Sex Roles, Wiley & Sons, and Oxford University Press. He taught PhD courses on mediation and moderation analysis, confirmatory factor analysis, structural equation modeling, and meta-analysis.