Hard to believe it has been already 2 years since my first (see my blog post from the one 2 years ago)… and it has been great again…
So, the formal bit… Shinichi an I attended the 13th annual meeting of the Society for Research Synthesis Methodology (SRSM) was held in Bristol, UK, from 16 to 19 July 2018. The 80-something meeting participants came predominantly from USA and UK, but also from Germany, The Netherlands, Belgium, Canada, Switzerland and Canada. And, of course, Australia – 3 people (so, not just us)! More than half of the participants were senior and world-leading scientists (e.g., Shinichi), with the remaining being guests of the Society members (e.g., me).
So, the fun and interesting stuff now. The current society President, Michael Borenstein, gave a presidential address on two reasons why he decided to work on meta-analyses: 1) to synthesise evidence, and 2) to meet women. And he explained how he happened to be successful at both (using cute penguins photos for his aim 2!).
- an interactive on-line tool for determining the degree of confidence in Network Meta-Analysis results,
- ROB-ME (Risk Of Bias due to Missing Evidence) - a new tool for assessing risk of reporting biases
- Data Abstraction Assistant (DAA) tool for facilitating data verification and reproducible abstraction
- RobotReviewer tool using machine learning to help risk of bias assessments in RCTs
- Automated approaches for identification of study designs elements in preclinical animal experiments
- discussion of limitations of p-curve analyses (shouldn’t use)
- results of triangulation of publication bias analyses (all are wrong bit some are more wrong)
- prescriptive vs. descriptive methodological guidance (better be flexible)
As for my contribution, on the first day of the conferences I gave a talk on developing rapid reviews methods for the field of sustainable built environment. It went well, a 10-minute discussion was easy and nice. I got many good questions and comments, including one on the importance of closely engaging with stakeholders and efficiency of the review process. There were also plenty of opportunities for stimulating discussions about research synthesis methodology during coffee and lunch breaks, and during the Annual Society Dinner. The formal dinner was held on board of a historical ship “SS Great Britain” – meticulously restored almost 200-year old former passenger steamship (now a museum and a fancy venue). Looking forward to another SRSM meeting!