Data Synthesis (Meta-Analysis)

There are many software programs for managing references. See for example, Comparison of Reference Management Software. Each has strengths and limitations. Some are web-based and others must be installed. Prices vary from free and open source to at-cost and commercial. We list only a few of the most commonly used below.

Articles about Data Synthesis

  1. Bax, L., Ly-Mee, Y., Ikeda, N., & Moons, K. G. (2007). A systematic comparison of software dedicated to meta-analysis of causal studies. BMC Med Res Methodol, 7(40). doi:  10.1186/1471-2288-7-40.
  2. Page, M. J., McKenzie, J. E., Kirkham, J., Dwan, K., Kramer, S., Green, S., & Forbes, A. (2014). Bias due to selective inclusion and reporting of outcomes and analyses in systematic reviews of randomised trials of healthcare interventions. Cochrane Database Syst Rev, 10.

Tools for Data Synthesis

  1. RevMan: RevMan is software designed for preparing and maintaining Cochrane Reviews. It provides a template for organizing the review and allows for electronic submission to Archie, the Cochrane Information Management System. Most importantly, however, it supports the conduct of meta-analyses and the graphical presentation of results using forest plots. 
  2. OpenMeta[Analyst]: OpenMeta[Analyst] is an open source software program that performs meta-analyses of binary, continuous, and diagnostic data. Developed by the Center for Evidence-Based Medicine at Brown University. Available free of charge.
  3. Comprehensive Meta-Analysis (CMA):  CMA supports the computation of effect sizes for binary, continuous, correlational data.  It is developed by Biostat, Inc. Academic pricing is $295 for one year.
  4. Metafor package in R: The metafor package is a free and open-source add-on for conducting meta-analyses with the statistical software environment R.

Back to: Resources for Conducting Systematic Reviews