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Handbook of Meta-analysis in Ecology and Evolution$
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Julia Koricheva, Jessica Gurevitch, and Kerrie Mengersen

Print publication date: 2013

Print ISBN-13: 9780691137285

Published to University Press Scholarship Online: October 2017

DOI: 10.23943/princeton/9780691137285.001.0001

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date: 13 December 2017

Temporal Trends in Effect Sizes: Causes, Detection, and Implications

Temporal Trends in Effect Sizes: Causes, Detection, and Implications

Chapter:
(p.237) 15 Temporal Trends in Effect Sizes: Causes, Detection, and Implications
Source:
Handbook of Meta-analysis in Ecology and Evolution
Author(s):

Julia Koricheva

Michael D. Jennions

Joseph Lau

Publisher:
Princeton University Press
DOI:10.23943/princeton/9780691137285.003.0015

The general aim of meta-analysis is to combine scientific evidence scattered through a number of individual studies addressing the same topic. Evidence, however, is not static and tends to evolve over time due to changes in research methods, changes in the characteristics of the subjects being studied, for example. A number of recent studies in ecology and evolution have shown that temporal trends in effect sizes are common and often quite dramatic in these fields. Temporal changes in effect sizes could jeopardize the stability of conclusions (i.e., the conclusions of meta-analyses on the same topic conducted in different years might differ). For these reasons, this chapter is devoted to temporal changes in effect sizes. It first summarizes the findings of studies that examined temporal changes in the magnitude and direction of effect sizes in ecology, evolutionary biology, medicine, and the social sciences. It then discusses their possible causes, methods of detection, and implications for the interpretation of the results of the meta-analysis.

Keywords:   temporal change, temporal trends, meta-analysis, ecology, evolution, effect sizes

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