We have just completed a large-scale project (supported by a SSHRC Insight Grant, 2014-2018) exploring various aspects of the history and use of meta-analysis, the debates surrounding its employment in psychology and related sciences, and researchers' understandings and implementations of the technique. The first phase of this research involved the development and validation of a coding tool for assessing meta-analysis practices (the Quality Assessment of Systematic Reviews [QUASR]; Tafreshi, Slaney, & Malange, 2015; Malange, Slaney, Law, & Napodi, 2013).

We collected data for a mixed-methods study, involving four integrated components: 1) an explication of the major theoretical and methodological developments of meta-analysis; 2) an examination of a broad spectrum of meta-analysis practices through a review of published meta-analyses; 3) a survey of authors of published meta-analyses; and 4) an integration of the findings of the first three components with the aim of informing where current standards of practice may require further development.

Relevant publications:

Hohn, R., Slaney, K. L., & Tafreshi, D. (2020). An empirical review of meta-analytic research and reporting practices in psychology. Review of General Psychology, 24, 195-209.

Hohn, R. E., Slaney, K. L., & Tafreshi, D. (2019) Primary study quality in psychological meta-analyses: An empirical assessment of recent practice. Frontiers in Psychology, 9, 2667.

Slaney, K. L., Tafreshi, D., & Hohn, R. (2018). Random or fixed? An empirical examination of meta-analysis model choices. Review of General Psychology, 22, 290-304.

Tafreshi, D., Slaney, K. L., & Malange, R. (2015). Quality Assessment of Systematic Reviews (QUASR) Short-Form. Unpublished instrument.

Malange, R., Slaney, K. L., Law, K., & Napodi, C. (2013, August). Assessing study quality of meta-analyses: A validation study. Poster presented at the American Psychological Association Annual Convention, Honolulu, Hawaii, July-August 2013.

Malange, R., Nikol, M., Lovasz, N., & Slaney, K.L. (2013, June). Exploring meta-analysis: A review of current practices in meta-analysis. Poster presented at the Canadian Psychological Association Annual Convention, Quebec City, Quebec, June 2013.

Wilkinson, L., & the APA Task Force on Statistical Inference (TFSI) (1999). Statistical methods in psychology journals: Guidelines and explanations. American Psychologist, 54, 594-604.