Online Workshop "Advanced Meta-Analysis Course"

Date: Friday, 30th April 2021

Time: starting on 9.00 am (video conference will be opened on 8.30 am for technical checks) and ending between 5-6 pm

Format: online workshop via Zoom (login details will be sent to registered participants)


Meta-analysis encompasses an array of statistical methods for aggregating and comparing the results from related studies in a systematic manner. The focus of this workshop is on standard and some advanced methods for analyzing meta-analytic data.

We will start out by reviewing standard meta-analytic models (i.e., fixed-, random-, and mixed-effects meta-regression models) and apply them to various outcome measures (e.g., standardized mean differences, risk ratios, correlation coefficients). From there, we delve into more complex data structures that one may encounter in practice and consider appropriate models for analyzing such data. Models and techniques to be discussed in this context include multilevel models, multivariate models, and other approaches for dealing with dependent/correlated outcomes (e.g., cluster-robust inference methods).

The workshop consists of a mix of lectures and practical exercises. All analyses will be conducted in R using the metafor ( package. As the workshop is specifically focused on the statistical methods for conducting a meta-analysis (and doesn't cover steps such as the literature search and data extraction / coding), a basic understanding of the research synthesis process is useful. Also, while no prior experience with R is assumed, some familiarity with R would also be useful.

Materials/preparation: The participants should use their own laptop during the course and install the required software beforehand (cf. instructions below). To prepare the workshop, please read the article which is available at:

Installation of software:

  • Please install R beforehand (, it should be a current version of R (version 4.0.5, minimally version 4.x.x).
  • The installation of RStudio ( is optional, but recommended if you don't use any other integrated development tool/user interface to work with R yet.
  • Please do also install the metafor package, just use the following code in R: install.packages("metafor") (by this, the current 'CRAN' Version of metafor will be installed. Moreover, please install the 'development' version of metafor by using the following codes:


Wolfgang Viechtbauer, Ph.D., Statistician, Department of Psychiatry and Neuropsychology, Maastricht University