Tools for Those Who Summarize the Evidence Base
It's sunny as I write you from my home office in mid-September, where I work at home during my sabbatical leave. As you probably know, sabbaticals are a periodic break from the regular hum-drum of academic life in order to focus more concertedly on other goals, mainly scholarly.
Popular belief has it that "sabbatical" is just another word for "vacation," but it is not true, well at least not for me: It is true that I am teaching no courses until next fall (and trying hard not to think about teaching courses at all!). I am doing only essential service activities as part of my university appointment (and trying to avoid more). As I implied above, my main focus is research: I have a long backlog of manuscripts and grant proposals that I am developing that amount to the goals of my sabbatical leave. These involve continued interactions with my students and colleagues, and often these meetings are face-to-face.
One would think that being on sabbatical would give me plenty of time to answer questions on this website, but, a month into my leave, that is not the case. Therefore, let me make an appeal to the members of this site to monitor posts by other members and lend a hand when other members post questions and requests for comments.
Lending a hand is the best way at our disposal to make our collective more communal. And the better our site is at doling out advice and organizing resources, the more valuable it will be, and there will be more will to keep it going. It is a little recognition for what you do. Join some of the groups, spark discussions. Go for it. I will monitor activity and periodically hand out awards to those who are helping the most. Let me start by recognizing Wim Van den Noortgate and Mike Cheung, who offered detailed solutions to a tricky meta-analytic problem (how to do Multi-level Meta-Analysis). Great work!
Truth told, the sabbatical does also afford more time time to pursue some of my favorite activities: Time with my wife and family and time making music. For the first time in decades, I'm pursuing a series of piano lessons, trying to conquer a Beethoven sonata. Wish me well. As you know, all meta-analysis and no play makes Blair a very dull boy!
Finally, let me issue a public warning to those who want to spam the members of this group: I recently increased the security on the site so that people could not automatically post blogs or forum entries without moderator approval. And now when you join, the site asks you why you are interested and says "NO SPAM." Of course these measures are not 100% spam-proof, but they are a measure. I want to keep the site dedicated to the important matters of meta-analysis. My apologies in advance to bona fide members of the site when I do not quickly detect spam and suspend members for having posted it.