OpenMeta-Analyst: Open-Source, Cross-Platform Software for Advanced Meta-Analysis
*Valerie Nicole Langberg, Brown University
Keywords: meta-analysis, software, R, open-source
Meta-analysis is increasingly used as a key source of evidence synthesis to inform clinical practice. The theory and statistical foundations of meta-analysis continually evolve, providing solutions to many new and challenging problems. With the goal of combining the strengths of general statistical packages (flexibility) and dedicated meta-analysis programs (ease-of-use), we have created a cross-platform, open-source meta-analysis program. OpenMeta is a stand-alone program with a spreadsheet-based graphical user interface (GUI) written in the Python programming language. All analytic methods in OpenMeta are written and executed in the R programming language; this allows us to leverage previously written meta-analysis code. Moreover, researchers can implement their own methods in R and plug them into the software. The GUI is such that novice analysts who may not speak R are able to easily use this package to perform many advanced meta-analytic routines. We will have a computer available for a live demonstration of the software.