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MetaLab: Community-Augmented Meta-Analyses for Language Acquisition

MetaLab is a collection of meta-analyses on language acquisition, allowing for easy data visualization and exploration, power analyses, and adding your own (published or unpublished) data. 

When carefully looking into a research topic, it is often the case that many papers report on relevant findings. But all these reported experiments might be difficult to compare due to differences in stimuli, methods, and statistics on the outcomes. Still, is it necessary to combine all data on a well-defined topic, not only to get a better look at the underlying "true" effect and its variance, but also to estimate how many participants are necessary in a future study and to integrate seemingly conflicting findings into a coherent framework. 
Meta-analytic methods are, despite allowing for aggregating and comparing data from different studies, still rare in infant research. Even if systematic reviews or meta-analyses have been conducted, they are either not shared or remain static. 

CAMA (Community-Augmented Meta-Analysis) combines meta-analyses with emerging trends towards continuously accumulating evidence and an increased need for transparency and data accessibility. CAMAs allow researchers to build on each others' work: they collect evidence for an effect (and its potential moderators) and can be re-used in their most recent form for specific purposes (eg. gaining an unbiased overview of the literature, calculating power previous to data collection, answering new questions). 

MetaLab-related events:
10.08.2016: Full day tutorial at the 38th annual conference of the Cognitive Science Society

CAMA-related talks and workshops:

17.07.2014: Presentation by Christina Bergmann, Sho Tsuji, and Alex Cristia at the 13th International Congress for the Study of Child Language (IASCL)
19.03.2015: Presentation by Christina Bergmann, Sho Tsuji, and Alex Cristia at the Biennial Meeting of the Society for Research in Child Development (SRCD)
19.10.2015: CAMA training day
21.10.2015: Presentation by Sho Tsuji and Christina Bergmann at Atelier Phonologie
26.11.2015: Presentation by Sho Tsuji and Christina Bergmann at the Journée du GDR (Groupe de Recherche) Neurosciences Cognitives du Développement (Developmental Cognitive Neurosciences)

More information:

  • My first CAMA on Infant Word Segmentation from Native Speech: inworddb.acristia.org (incl reference to the paper)
  • The paper introducing CAMAs: Tsuji, S., Bergmann, C., & Cristia, A. (2014). Community-Augmented Meta-Analyses: Toward Cumulative Data Assessment. Perspectives on Psychological Science, 9(6), 661-665. doi: 10.1177/1745691614552498 (open access)
  • Tutorial on creating your own CAMA
  • A blog post on meta-analyses and their use for computational modelers, including some musings on the added benefits of CAMAs in the comments section
Funding:
MetaLab was awarded a SSMART (Social Sciences Meta-Analysis and Research Transparency) grant from the Berkeley Initiative for Transparent Social Sciences (BITSS). Here is the funder's project website.