A history of meta-regression: Technical, conceptual, and practical developments between 1974 and 2018

Elizabeth Tipton*, James E. Pustejovsky, Hedyeh Ahmadi

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

6 Scopus citations


At the beginning of the development of meta-analysis, understanding the role of moderators was given the highest priority, with meta-regression provided as a method for achieving this goal. Yet in current practice, meta-regression is not as commonly used as anticipated. This paper seeks to understand this mismatch by reviewing the history of meta-regression methods over the past 40 years. We divide this time span into four periods and examine three types of methodological developments within each period: technical, conceptual, and practical. Our focus is broad and includes development of methods in the fields of education, psychology, and medicine. We conclude the paper with a discussion of five consensus points, as well as open questions and areas of research for the future.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)161-179
Number of pages19
JournalResearch synthesis methods
Issue number2
StatePublished - Jun 1 2019


ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Education

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