Tools for Those Who Summarize the Evidence Base
As I write, the first day of 2014 is fading and the new year will quickly become just a fact along the way. The reprieve from emails and demands that the holidays permit will be a distant memory. And big data will grow bigger and bigger still and require more and more help from cool research synthesis procedures and meta-analytic statistics. That's why we are here. I am teaching a graduate seminar this spring on the subject, at the University of Connecticut, and I've asked my students and auditors to join this site to contribute actively. Thus, you can expect that my attention to this (so-called) blog will be intensified over the next several months.
This site has grown in the few years it has existed. I started it because I wanted a resource for me and my seminar students that would not disappear once a formal course ended, and I thought: Why not share it with the rest of the world? It's clearly a problem that many of who teach meta-analysis face regularly.
Related, let me remind you that this site has groups that are meant to organize posts to the site (queries, comments). I notice that for a long time, members of this site have generally posted to the "Forum," the front page of the site. Doing so means that all members of the site should receive a notification about the post, so it does mean that you will get more attention if you do so. But I have been refusing some posts to the main forum and suggesting to members that they instead post to groups where the idea is most relevant. Forum posts should increasingly be not simple technical questions but instead comments and observations about currents in meta-analytic practice or about the role of meta-analysis in science in policy.
As a great example, note Meta-analytic structural equation modeling group, which has received quite a lot of attention. Mike Cheung started the group and maintains an active presence answering questions posted there, especially about his very interesting and useful meta-SEM statistical package.
On behalf of the collective, Mike: We thank you for your active presence! The rest of us can take inspiration from your example. If there are interests that are not being served by the current groups on this site, why not create them, like Mike did? Or, if you think that more attention should be given to certain aspects of the meta-analytic enterprise, why not spend some time in groups related to that quest posting comments and queries about it?
And of course consider that the groups will not function well unless members of this site join them. (Otherwise you will not receive alerts about activity in those areas!) Please join groups that interest you!
OK... during 2014: Here's to the best success in integrating the biggest data yet compiled on a the subject that interests you.