Free access to article on the meta-analytic big bang


  • Author: Statistics Views
  • Date: 03 August 2015
  • Copyright: William R. Shadish and Jesse D. Lecy

Each week, we select an article hot off the press and provide free access. This week's article is from Research Synthesis Methods and is available from Early View, where individual articles can be viewed prior to issue allocation.

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The meta-analytic big bang
William R. Shadish and Jesse D. Lecy

Research Synthesis Methods, Early View

DOI: 10.1002/jrsm.1132

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This article looks at the impact of meta-analysis and then explores why meta-analysis was developed at the time and by the scholars it did in the social sciences in the 1970s. For the first problem, impact, it examines the impact of meta-analysis using citation network analysis. The impact is seen in the sciences, arts and humanities, and on such contemporaneous developments as multilevel modeling, medical statistics, qualitative methods, program evaluation, and single-case design. Using a constrained snowball sample of citations, we highlight key articles that are either most highly cited or most central to the systematic review network. Then, the article examines why meta-analysis came to be in the 1970s in the social sciences through the work of Gene Glass, Robert Rosenthal, and Frank Schmidt, each of whom developed similar theories of meta-analysis at about the same time. The article ends by explaining how Simonton's chance configuration theory and Campbell's evolutionary epistemology can illuminate why meta-analysis occurred with these scholars when it did and not in medical sciences.

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