Mini Meta-Analysis of Your Own Studies: Some Arguments on Why and a Primer on How

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We outline the need to, and provide a guide on how to, conduct a meta-analysis on one’s own studies within a manuscript. Although conducting a “mini meta” within one’s manuscript has been argued for in the past, this practice is still relatively rare and adoption is slow. We believe two deterrents are responsible. First, researchers may not think that it is legitimate to do a meta-analysis on a small number of studies. Second, researchers may think a meta-analysis is too complicated to do without expert knowledge or guidance. We dispel these two misconceptions by (1) offering arguments on why researchers should be encouraged to do mini metas, (2) citing previous articles that have conducted such analyses to good effect, and (3) providing a user-friendly guide on calculating some meta-analytic procedures that are appropriate when there are only a few studies. We provide formulas for calculating effect sizes and converting effect sizes from one metric to another (e.g., from Cohen’s d to r), as well as annotated Excel spreadsheets and a step-by-step guide on how to conduct a simple meta-analysis. A series of related studies can be strengthened and better understood if accompanied by a mini meta-analysis.

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Type of resources: Primary Source, Reading, Paper

Education level(s): College / Upper Division (Undergraduates)

Primary user(s): Student

Subject area(s): Math & Statistics

Language(s): English