Message from the Chair
Message from the Chair
SIG Chair
Welcome to the Systematic Review and Meta-Analysis (SR/MA) AERA SIG! We are excited to continue this journey and thankful you found this page.

After a few years of SIG-in-formation status, as of May 2018 we are an officially-sanctioned AERA SIG! Thanks to all who helped make this possible. Below is some information on who we are and why we started the SIG. Please join us at a future event - or submit a proposal for next year's conference! 

Why we started the SIG

The use of meta-analysis has grown consistently over the last two decades with organizations such as the Cochrane Collaboration in medicine, and the Campbell Collaboration in the social sciences developed to support evidence-based decision-making. Last year alone, over 6,800 published articles utilized a meta-analysis framework with over 300 of those publications focusing specifically on education issues. Indeed, AERA’s own publication, The Review of Educational Research, published sixteen systematic reviews or meta-analyses.

We started this SIG, however, because too few papers and presentations utilized the technique at the last few AERA conferences. At the 2012 AERA annual conference in Vancouver, Canada, over 8,000 papers from more than 2,300 sessions were presented covering a variety of education-focused topics. Unfortunately, only 32 of the 8,000 papers (0.37%) and 2 of the 2,300 (.09%) sessions used methods of research synthesis and meta-analysis. This is far too few considering the influx of published reviews across all research disciplines. Increasing the presence of systematic reviews and meta-analysis at the annual conference is of paramount importance.

What we plan to do

To foster the growth of systematic review and meta-analysis within AERA, we have three primary goals. The first is to support the production of high-quality systematic reviews and meta-analyses in education. The second is to foster the development of methods appropriate for the synthesis of educational studies. Finally, we will seek to increase the knowledge of researchers and practitioners by providing informational sessions and trainings in the latest techniques in research synthesis and meta-analysis. A key initiative will be to connect novice reviewers with graduate students interested in systematic review and meta-analysis. This will provide graduate students collaboration opportunities as well as a service to the substantive reviewers.

How we will get there

As a new AERA SIG-in-formation, we must follow guidelines set forth by the SIG executive committee. This means that, for this next year, we are prmarily in the planning stages. The next AERA meeting, at Philadelphia in 2014, will mark the first formal gathering of the SIG. We are currently planning a panel session and reception for our new members. Over the course of the next year, therefore, we also plan to create our formal bylaws, propose formal presentation for 2015, and organize upcoming meetings for members. By the third year, our SIG should be fully functional. As a result, this SIG will hold all roles and responsibilities that other AERA SIGs fulfill, and we will be entitled to meeting and organization space. 

We also plan to collaborate and coordinate with other entities, both inside and outside AERA. We will be in talks with substanative SIGs for partnerships to present overlapping content. Of course, we plan to collaborate extensively with Division D. Outside of AERA, we will be partnering with the Campbell Collaboration on future promotion and projects. More information about their organization and how we plan to collaborate can be found here:

What we need from you

There is much work to do, but for now, we simply need your support in the form of joining our SIG. It is imperative that we have a good turnout at the 2014 conference, so please feel free to pass along our information. 

If you should have any questions, comments, or would like to help organize future events, please feel free to contact us. We look forward to hearing from you and seeing you at the 2014 conference!

Terri Pigott
Paul Connolly
Elizabeth Tipton
Joshua R. Polanin

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