Germany, Cologne

Meta-Analysis in Social Research and Survey Methodology

when 20 August 2018 - 24 August 2018
language English
duration 1 week
credits 4 EC
fee EUR 300

This course will provide an introduction to a broad range of meta-analytical techniques using the free statistical software package R. Meta-analysis can be thought of as a collection of statistical analyses used to examine results from individual studies with the general purpose of integrating their findings. A meta-analysis is considered to be the statistical part of a so-called systematic review. While the course focuses particularly on the statistical aspects of a systematic review, we briefly introduce all parts of a research synthesis. That is, we will also discuss how to formulate a research question, search and evaluate the literature as well as how to extract and code the data. In this course we will cover the basics of meta-analysis as well as more advanced topics. However, we will not be able to cover topics like network meta-analysis or meta-analytic structural equation modeling. Participants are not expected to have a working knowledge of R but are provided with an R introduction. Special emphasis will be put on performing meta-analysis on experimental and intervention-based studies, in particular from survey methodology. This course is approved by the Campbell Collaboration (

Course leader

Dr. Bernd WeiƟ is head of the GESIS Panel, a probabilistic mixed-mode access panel for the social sciences, and deputy head of the GESIS department Survey Design and Methodology.
Jessica Wengrzik is a Ph.D. student in the area of Survey Operations at GE

Target group

Participants will find the course useful if
- they are interested in conducting their own research synthesis, especially using the free software package R;
- they want to gain a better understanding of the pros and cons of the method when evaluating meta-analytical results;
- they consider to prepare a Master thesis, a PhD thesis, or a scientific publication in social sciences or survey methodology using quantitative research synthesis methods.

Course aim

By the end of the course participants will
- be able to determine whether their research problem can be analyzed with a meta-analysis;
- have gained a thorough understanding of how to conduct a meta-analysis and how to present the results of a meta-analysis; most importantly they have learned to avoid typical pitfalls when performing a meta-analysis;
- have learned how to conduct a basic meta-analysis using the free software package R and R's metafor package.

- Participants are expected to have a good working knowledge of statistics at an undergraduate level, e.g. statistical inference (standard error, confidence interval), bivariate statistics (correlation coefficient, mean differences, odds ratio) as well as a basic understanding of (linear) regression analysis and ANOVA.
- Participants are interested in any subtopic in social research or survey methodology.
- During the course the statistical software package R will be used, which should be installed on participants computers. A brief introduction will be given in the first afternoon session.

Credits info

4 EC
- Certificate of attendance issued upon completion.
Optional bookings:
- 2 ECTS points via the University of Mannheim for regular attendance and satisfactory work on daily assignments (EUR 20).
- 4 ECTS points via the University of Mannheim for regular attendance and satisfactory work on daily assignments and for submitting a paper/report of about 5000 words to the lectur-er(s) up to 4 weeks after the end of the summer school (EUR 50).

Fee info

EUR 300: Student/PhD student rate.
EUR 450: Academic/non-profit rate.
The rates include the tuition fee, course materials, the academic program, access to library and IT facilities, coffee/tea, and a number of social activities.


10 DAAD scholarships are available via the Center for Doctoral Studies in Social and Behav-ioral Sciences (CDSS) at the University of Mannheim.
5 ESRA scholarships are available for participation in one main course.