A Hands-On Tutorial for Systematic Review and Meta-Analysis With Example Data Set and Codes

Xiaojuan Zhang, Bing Cheng, Yang Zhang

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

3 Scopus citations


Purpose: Systematic review and meta-analysis are regarded as standard and valuable tools for providing an objective and reproducible synthesis of research findings in the literature. Their increasing popularity has led to heightened expectations for comprehensiveness and rigor in conducting scientific reviews and analyses. The purpose of this tutorial is to provide an overview and guidance on how to address the key elements for conducting a high-quality systematic review with meta-analysis. Method: This tutorial describes practical guidelines to conduct systematic review and meta-analysis for researchers who are interested in learning and applying the method. Drawing on previous meta-analytic reviews of second-language learning as illustrative examples, it discusses the methodological choices and judgment calls in each step of the review and analysis process. As a hands-on tutorial, it uses a published data set concerning the role of talker variability in speech training studies as a running example to elucidate the statistical process and interpret the results of meta-analysis with freely available R software. Results/Conclusions: This tutorial provides a walk-through of the methodological choices, controversial issues, and common practices in conducting systematic reviews and meta-analyses. The data set and R codes are offered as publicly accessible supplementary materials (https://osf.io/e9bkf/) for replication and practice, which we hope will motivate more applications in the speech, language, and hearing sciences field as well as behavioral and social sciences research in general.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)3217-3238
Number of pages22
JournalJournal of Speech, Language, and Hearing Research
Issue number9
StatePublished - Sep 2022

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
This study was supported by grants from the National Social Science Foundation of China (15BYY005 and 18ZDA293). Y. Zhang received additional support from the University of Minnesota’s Brain Imaging Grant and Grand Challenges Exploratory Research Grant for international collaboration.

Publisher Copyright:
© 2022 American Speech-Language-Hearing Association.

PubMed: MeSH publication types

  • Journal Article
  • Meta-Analysis
  • Systematic Review
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't


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