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Teaching meta-analysis using MetaLight

Thomas, J.; Graziosi, S.; Higgins, S.; Coe, R.; Torgerson, C.; Newman, M.

Teaching meta-analysis using MetaLight Thumbnail


J. Thomas

S. Graziosi

R. Coe

M. Newman


Background: Meta-analysis is a statistical method for combining the results of primary studies. It is often used in systematic reviews and is increasingly a method and topic that appears in student dissertations. MetaLight is a freely available software application that runs simple meta-analyses and contains specific functionality to facilitate the teaching and learning of meta-analysis. While there are many courses and resources for meta-analysis available and numerous software applications to run meta-analyses, there are few pieces of software which are aimed specifically at helping those teaching and learning meta-analysis. Valuable teaching time can be spent learning the mechanics of a new software application, rather than on the principles and practices of meta-analysis. Findings: We discuss ways in which the MetaLight tool can be used to present some of the main issues involved in undertaking and interpreting a meta-analysis. Conclusions: While there are many software tools available for conducting meta-analysis, in the context of a teaching programme such software can require expenditure both in terms of money and in terms of the time it takes to learn how to use it. MetaLight was developed specifically as a tool to facilitate the teaching and learning of meta-analysis and we have presented here some of the ways it might be used in a training situation.


Thomas, J., Graziosi, S., Higgins, S., Coe, R., Torgerson, C., & Newman, M. (2012). Teaching meta-analysis using MetaLight. [5]

Digital Artefact Type Other
Publication Date Oct 18, 2012
Deposit Date Oct 24, 2012
Publicly Available Date Jul 19, 2013
Publisher BioMed Central
Keywords Meta-analysis, Research synthesis, Systematic review, Teaching, Teaching resource, Software.
Additional Information Periodical: BMC Research Notes
Article Number: 571


Published Digital Artefact (2.5 Mb)

Copyright Statement
© 2012 Thomas et al.; licensee BioMed Central Ltd. This is an Open Access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License (, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.

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