A Solution to Deal with Scientific Information Overload when Conducting Research Syntheses
- Noémie Laurens
This chapter illustrates meta-analysis, which is a specific type of literature review, and more precisely a type of research synthesis, alongside traditional narrative reviews. Unlike in primary research, the unit of analysis of a meta-analysis is the results of individual studies. And unlike traditional reviews, meta-analysis only applies to: empirical research studies with quantitative findings hat are conceptually comparable and configured in similar statistical forms. What further distinguishes meta-analysis from other research syntheses is the method of synthesizing the results of studies — i.e. the use of statistics and, in particular, of effect sizes. An effect size represents the degree to which the phenomenon under study exists.