Complementary Meta-Analytic Methods for the Quantitative Review of Research: 1. A Theoretical Overview
Contents Meta-Analysis is a procedure designed to quantitatively analyze the methodological characteristics in studies sampled in conventional meta-analyses to assess the relationship between methodologies and outcomes. This article presents the rationale and procedures for conducting a Contents Meta-Analysis in conjunction with conventional Effects Meta-analysis. We provide an overview of the pertinent limitations of conventional meta-analysis from methodological and meta-scientific standpoint. We then introduce novel terminology distinguishing different kinds of complementary meta-analyses that address many of the problems previously identified for conventional meta-analyses. We would also like to direct readers to the second paper in this series (Figueredo, Black, & Scott, this issue), which demonstrates the utility of Contents Meta-Analysis with an empirical example and present findings regarding the generalizability of the effect sizes estimated.
Keywords: meta-analysis, methods, scientific progress, contents meta-analysis, metascience