Conventional, or manual, meta-analyses

Bottenhorn KL, HBM (2021).

Educational Course - Half Day (4 hours)


15 min lecture + 5 min for questions

Learning outcome

Understand the process of manually selecting and annotating studies to be included in a meta-analysis.

Points to cover

  • Explain the continued utility of manual meta-analyses, even with a wealth of high-quality, automated tools.
  • Describe some past manual meta-analyses that were important in the field and illustrate several different methods, including some well-done meta-analyses with inconclusive results.
  • Briefly outline the steps and options for manually selecting and annotating studies (including, for example, the role of metaCurious and NeuroVault).
  • Introduce the idea of “semi-automated” meta-analyses, leveraging tools like Neurosynth, NeuroVault, and metaCurious.
  • Explain why it’s important to share results images instead of just reporting peak coordinates.

Interactive components

  • Start with a poll asking which exclusion criteria seem necessary for doing a meta-analysis, including some criteria that could bias the results.
  • Later, ask participants to do something easy on MetaCurious, PubMed, or NeuroVault (e.g., start a search string).
  • We will conclude with 5 minutes for participant questions.