Outlier and influence diagnostics for meta-analysis

Res Synth Methods. 2010 Apr;1(2):112-25. doi: 10.1002/jrsm.11. Epub 2010 Oct 4.


The presence of outliers and influential cases may affect the validity and robustness of the conclusions from a meta-analysis. While researchers generally agree that it is necessary to examine outlier and influential case diagnostics when conducting a meta-analysis, limited studies have addressed how to obtain such diagnostic measures in the context of a meta-analysis. The present paper extends standard diagnostic procedures developed for linear regression analyses to the meta-analytic fixed- and random/mixed-effects models. Three examples are used to illustrate the usefulness of these procedures in various research settings. Issues related to these diagnostic procedures in meta-analysis are also discussed. Copyright © 2010 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.

Keywords: influence diagnostics; meta‐analysis; mixed‐effects model; outliers.