Standard Article



  1. Swarna Weerasinghe

Published Online: 15 JAN 2013

DOI: 10.1002/9780470057339.vam017.pub2

Encyclopedia of Environmetrics

Encyclopedia of Environmetrics

How to Cite

Weerasinghe, S. 2013. Meta-Analysis . Encyclopedia of Environmetrics. 4.

Author Information

  1. Dalhousie University, Halifax, Nova Scotia, Canada

Publication History

  1. Published Online: 15 JAN 2013


Meta-analysis is an analytical method of synthesizing, systematically combining, and integrating results across different studies with similar research focuses. While limiting the analytical methods applicable to environmental studies, this article presents a step-by-step approach to meta-analysis. Brief descriptions presented in each section of this article cover the initial steps of meta-analysis such as formulation of a research question, development of a literature search strategy, and assessment of quality of the published literature by reviewing possible biases. Next steps provide essentials of data extraction, methods of meta-data analysis as well as interpretation of results. An attempt is made to provide hypothetical examples to illustrate each meta-analytical step. The goal of this article is to provide an overview of the fundamentals of meta-analysis of environmental studies.


  • step-by-step approach to meta-analysis;
  • PECO approach for environmental studies;
  • systematic coding of meta-data;
  • sensitivity and influence analysis;
  • fixed effects and random effects models