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Meta-evaluation of meta-analysis: ten appraisal questions for biologists

Abstract

Meta-analysis is a statistical procedure for analyzing the combined data from different studies, and can be a major source of concise up-to-date information. The overall conclusions of a meta-analysis, however, depend heavily on the quality of the meta-analytic process, and an appropriate evaluation of the quality of meta-analysis (meta-evaluation) can be challenging. We outline ten questions biologists can ask to critically appraise a meta-analysis. These questions could also act as simple and accessible guidelines for the authors of meta-analyses. We focus on meta-analyses using non-human species, which we term 'biological' meta-analysis. Our ten questions are aimed at enabling a biologist to evaluate whether a biological meta-analysis embodies 'mega-enlightenment', a 'mega-mistake', or something in between.

Type Journal
ISBN 1741-7007 (Electronic) 1741-7007 (Linking)
Authors Nakagawa, S.; Noble, D. W.; Senior, A. M.; Lagisz, M.
Responsible Garvan Author A/Prof Shinichi Nakagawa
Publisher Name BMC BIOLOGY
Published Date 2017-03-03
Published Volume 15
Published Issue 1
Published Pages 18
Status Published in-print
DOI 10.1186/s12915-017-0357-7
URL link to publisher's version https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/28257642
OpenAccess link to author's accepted manuscript version https://publications.gimr.garvan.org.au/open-access/14407