Exploring Heterogeneity in Meta-Analysis using Random Forests

A requirement of classic meta-analysis is that the studies being aggregated are conceptually similar, and ideally, close replications. However, in many fields, there is substantial heterogeneity between studies on the same topic. Similar research questions are studied in different laboratories, using different methods, instruments, and samples. Classic meta-analysis lacks the power to assess more than a handful of univariate moderators, or to investigate interactions between moderators, and non-linear effects. MetaForest, by contrast, has substantial power to explore heterogeneity in meta-analysis. It can identify important moderators from a larger set of potential candidates, even with as little as 20 studies (Van Lissa, in preparation). This is an appealing quality, because many meta-analyses have small sample sizes. Moreover, MetaForest yields a measure of variable importance which can be used to identify important moderators, and offers partial prediction plots to explore the shape of the marginal relationship between moderators and effect size.


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install.packages("metaforest")

0.1.0 by Caspar J. van Lissa, 2 months ago


Browse source code at https://github.com/cran/metaforest


Authors: Caspar J. van Lissa


Documentation:   PDF Manual  


Task views: Meta-Analysis


GPL-3 license


Depends on edarf, ggplot2, metafor, ranger, reshape2


See at CRAN