The main purpose of this book is to address the statistical issues for integrating independent studies. There exist a number of papers and books that discuss the mechanics of collecting, coding, and preparing data for a meta-analysis , and we do not deal with these.
Because this book concerns methodology, the content necessarily is statistical, and at times mathematical. In order to make the material accessible to a wider audience, we have not provided proofs in the text. Where proofs are given, they are placed as commentary at the end of a chapter. These can be omitted at the discretion of the reader.
Throughout the book we describe computational procedures whenever required. Many computations can be completed on a hand calculator, whereas some require the use of a standard statistical package such as SAS, SPSS, or BMD. Readers with experience using a statistical package or who conduct analyses such as multiple regression or analysis of variance should be able to carry out the analyses described with the aid of a statistical package.