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On this page, you can download Meta-Essentials and related materials.

The workbooks and the user manual are licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 4.0 International License. That means you can use, share, and adapt the tools all you want, as long as you properly attribute the original effort to us.

If you use this tool for any type of publication, please cite it as follows:

  • Suurmond R, van Rhee, H, Hak T. (2017). Introduction, comparison and validation of Meta-Essentials: A free and simple tool for meta-analysis. Research Synthesis Methods. Vol. 8, Iss. 4, 537-553. doi.org/10.1002/jrsm.1260.

Specific citations for the user manual, the text on interpreting results, or the working paper on meta-analyzing dichotomous data can be found on the homepage of those documents or in the files listed below.

Meta-Essentials: Workbooks for meta-analysis (Version 1.4). This downloads a zip-file containing the workbooks, designed for Microsoft Excel.

  • In version 1.4 we addressed several issues:
    • The trim-and-fill plot now automatically searches on the correct side of the combined effect size for potential asymmetry. We noticed that in some studies that used Meta-Essentials for publication-bias analysis, the method was used incorrectly (even though they appeared in peer-reviewed journals).
    • In the standardized residuals histogram (publication bias tab), the labels of the bins were not always correctly displayed in the plot. This is now fixed.
    • We did some more substantial work on Workbook 6 for partial correlations, all related to the Fisher's r-to-z transformation . We noticed that using the Fisher transformation for the main Forest Plot analysis could trigger exclusion of some studies in subgroup, moderator, and publication bias analysis. In particular, if studies did not report sufficient information for this transformation (number of observations and number of predictors), they were discarded in the subsequent analysis based on the selection of the Fisher transformation in the Forest plot tab, irrespective of whether the Fisher transformation was selected for use in that subsequent analysis. We therefore now completely decoupled the Fisher transformation across the various tabs, which required us to include some additional arguments in the Calculation tab.
    • Several minor bug fixes and cosmetic changes. We for example changed some column names (labels) in the calculation tab.
  • In version 1.3 we fixed an issue with the analysis of variance in the subgroups and several other minor bugs.
  • In version 1.2 we fixed an issue with the degrees of freedom in the subgroups (thanks to Lisa Kim for pointing this out to us) and calculation of the confidence interval of the combined effect size in Workbook 5.

User manual for Meta-Essentials: Workbooks for meta-analysis (Version 1.4). This downloads a pdf-version of the user manual that is also provided on this website.

How to interpret results of meta-analysis (Version 1.4). This downloads a pdf-version of the text on how to interpret results of meta-analysis that is also provided on this website.

Meta-analyze dichotomous data: Do the calculations with Log Odds Ratios and report Risk Ratios or Risk Differences. This downloads a pdf-version of the text on the method applied in Meta-Essentials for meta-analyzing binary data when Risk Ratios or Risk Differences are chosen for presentation.