Deficiencies of reporting in meta-analyses and some remedies

Michael Harwell, Yukiko Maeda

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

17 Scopus citations


There is general agreement that meta-analysis is an important tool for synthesizing study results in quantitative educational research. Yet, a shared feature of many meta-analyses is a failure to report sufficient information for readers to fully judge the reported findings, such as the populations to which generalizations are to be made, inclusion and exclusion criteria for studies, the rationale underlying coded variables, including their scaling, relationship to study goals, and the sensitivity of conclusions to the chosen methodology. The authors provide (a) evidence of the prevalence of deficiencies of reporting and (b) suggestions about the kind of information that meta-analysts should typically provide. Providing readers with that information should significantly improve readers' ability to evaluate the credibility of a meta-analysis.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)403-430
Number of pages28
JournalJournal of Experimental Education
Issue number4
StatePublished - 2008


  • Meta-analysis
  • Reporting deficiencies
  • Synthesizing studies


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