Share your experiences on doing meta-analysis

Anybody on this forum had done a meta-analysis?

My team is looking into understanding the practices, difficulties, and workaround that people do when conducting meta-analysis. We are interviewing researchers to understand this activity. We want to use this knowledge to identify opportunities to design and build better tools to support meta-analysis.

We are a group of researchers in the field of Human–Computer Interaction at the University of Zurich. You can reach me at

Hi @Chat, welcome to the forum :wave: and thanks for sharing your question here.

I’m not sure if any IGDORE affiliates are doing meta-analyses, but I know that @Jelle has published a few review articles. I’m actually surprised about this - meta-analyses and systematic reviews seem like research projects that would be well suited to independent researchers.

@daaronr may also know people working with this?

Thanks @Gavin! I’ll ask my student to follow-up with @Jelle.

@Chat , I received the invitation from your students. Sounds like an interesting project!

@Gavin, I am currently working on a systematic review regarding surgery. In principle this is suited to independent researchers, I think. I think there are however a few complicating factors (in my case):

  • Going through a very large number of publications is very time-consuming, which is not easy when combining it with non-academic work
  • A systematic review requires per definition at least two people. If you’re not part of a lab, it’s not always easy to identify potential colleagues working to work on a specific systematic review. IGDORE could perhaps play a facilitating factor here.
  • Writing systematic reviews requires a specific interest in doing so, I do not have the feeling it is something that everyone (at least me) could do on a very regular basis :slight_smile: !
  • A systematic review is often done at the beginning of a specific research project (e.g. at the start of a PhD). I’m currently not focusing on a very specific project, but writing on different topics in a specific field. This is of course personal.

Due to the above I usually limit myself to standard (narrative) reviews with friends that do have relevant experience, but try to capture as much of the systematic review process as possible in conducting them and record this in the methods section.