Incorporating quality scores in meta-analysis

Soyeon Ahn, Betsy Jane Becker

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

29 Scopus citations


This paper examines the impact of quality-score weights in meta-analysis. A simulation examines the roles of study characteristics such as population effect size (ES) and its variance on the bias and mean square errors (MSEs) of the estimators for several patterns of relationship between quality and ES, and for specific patterns of systematic deviations related to quality differences. The bias and MSEs of the estimators are large when ESs from low-quality studies deviate from the population ES in specific ways, and bias does not approach zero in these cases. Because meta-analysts can never know whether biases due to quality exist, and because quality weights lead to bias in almost every condition studied, we recommend against the use of quality weights.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)555-585
Number of pages31
JournalJournal of Educational and Behavioral Statistics
Issue number5
StatePublished - Oct 2011


  • deviated effect size
  • effect size (ES)
  • meta-analysis
  • quality-score weights
  • standardized mean difference (d-effect size)
  • study quality

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Education
  • Social Sciences (miscellaneous)


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