G Singh. Meta-Statistics and Internet. The Internet Journal of Medical Informatics. 2005 Volume 2 Number 2.
Meta-Statistics is a term used synonymously for popular term meta-analysis, which refers to analysis of analyses. It is a statistical procedure of accumulating results across independent studies on similar topic. Unlike conventional methods, meta-analysis uses the summary statistics from individual studies as the data points. For example, if study Y reported a mean decrease in serum cholesterol of 10 mg/dl in 45 subjects and study Z reported a mean decrease of 6 mg/dl in 60 subjects, total n for analysis would be 2, however, these data would be based on a total of 105 subjects. Meta-analysis may prove to be a strong alternative to the more traditional review methods allowing quantitative conclusions to be reached. In conventional studies also a researcher while discussing the results incorporates exclusively similar relevant findings of other previous publications. Broadly speaking, the terms merger and integration reflect the spirit of meta-analysis and conventional review methodology respectively.
Application of meta-analysis techniques is now fast growing, becoming popular and gaining acceptability. Internet has brought revolution in meta-analytic approach of research. Earlier, searching literature manually required enough time and patience, and sometimes due to non-availability, certain important publications could not be accumulated in meta-analyses. Internet search engine has now enabled fast search of literature and easy availability of full text of atleast recent publications. This has led to substantial increase in meta-analytic approach of accumulating research findings across studies. Meta-statisticians may feel obliged rather say, indebted of the Internet that is providing speedy and free access of the basic raw materials for shaping their conceptualization.
Dr. Girish Singh 6, Ganga Bagh Colony, Lanka Varanasi – 221005 India Phone: 91-542-2367304 e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org