Data Collection

Data part 1 video

Create that new google-drive folder.

Study papers

Review the literature search results from librarian and finalize the papers that needs to be included in your meta-analysis.

Two authors must do this independently.

Download all manuscripts to your study folder (google drive folder if collaborating remotely).


Create a data-sheet in the folder with all relevant columns for data collection.

Two authors must do this independently.

Edit, customize and improvise the sheet as you go along.

Avoid redundancy and save time by simultaneously collecting information for risk-of-bias assessment and meta-regression analysis.

Data part 2 video

Pay attention to potential study cohort overlap, have a 'remarks' or 'comments' column.


Ensure that author name & year are the same as in your reference manager.

You don't want it to be differently entered on your statistics software and have differing names on the forest plots and references.

Data part 3 video

Do not ever delete previously collected data, always duplicate the current sheet and continue working (editing, updating) on the new sheet.


Do not ever delete previously collected data, create new sheet (duplicate sheet on google-sheets) and work on the new sheet.

As you move along, edit, delete unwanted rows/ columns, check for cohort overlaps.

A great habit is to email study authors for information of interest not available in the print, to check for cohort overlap and to (unintentionally) grow your network (I have had very useful global connections develop by this who later on supported by green-card application by providing a letter of support).

Remember, final manuscript tables get generated from the data sheet.