[R-meta] R-sig-meta-analysis policies

Viechtbauer, Wolfgang (SP) wo||g@ng@v|echtb@uer @end|ng |rom m@@@tr|chtun|ver@|ty@n|
Thu Mar 24 09:26:38 CET 2022

Dear R-sig-meta-analysis subscribers,

Just a little update from the mailing list admins (Michael Dewey, James
Pustejovksy, Guido Schwarzer, and me). We have updated the mailing list
policies, which you can also find on the mailing list landing page:


Let me just repeat those policies with a few notes here and there.

- You must subscribe to the list before posting. Posts by non-subscribers are
  automatically rejected by the mailing list.

In the past, we have allowed posts by non-subscribers, but then we needed to
manually approve those posts, since quite a bit of it was spam (we operate
under the assumption that you are not interested in the inheritance of
recently deceased Nigerian princes ...). We have decided to change this to a
posts-by-subscribers-only policy. This doesn't really concern you though,
because you are already subscribed. Thank you!

- You should post in plain text format. The mailing list expects posts to be
  in plain text (i.e., no HTML or 'rich text format' messages). Note that
  HTML/RTF is the default in many email clients, in which case you have to
  turn this feature off (for more info, see https://useplaintext.email/).

I know plain-text is like sooooo last century, but it's the common denominator
and it's what mailing lists are typically set up to process. The formatting of
HTML/RTF posts gets stripped away, sometimes leaving a hard-to-read post for
those like me still stuck in 1995. We like it that way.

- The mailing list is picky about file attachments. Some file types may be
  automatically removed (or might cause the post to be blocked completely). It
  is best to avoid file attachments altogether. Include code and data in your
  post directly (see next item).

- If you need help with code, please provide a minimal and fully reproducible
  example. Remove any superfluous code that is not pertinent to the issue at
  hand and provide a small dataset together with the code so that it can
  actually be run (the dput() function is extremely useful for including
  data). See also https://stackoverflow.com/q/5963269/2615367,
  http://adv-r.had.co.nz/Reproducibility.html, and

Let me add a little bit here: If you have been part of this mailing list for a
while, you will have seen posts that ask about appropriate ways of analyzing
certain dataset. An illustrative dataset is extremely helpful to answer such
questions. Instead of attaching the dataset, use dput(). Say you want to
include a dataset like dat.bcg in your post. Just do dput(dat.bcg), which
spits out a bunch of code of the form 'structure(...)'. Copy that code and add
it to your post like this:

dat.bcg <- structure(...)

This then allows readers to recreate the dataset by copy-pasting this code to
R. Only do this with *small* datasets (which should be sufficient to
illustrate the features of your dataset). Or use datasets available via
packages like metadat (https://wviechtb.github.io/metadat/) to illustrate your

- Before posting, search the mailing list archives. Quite often, the same
  questions have been repeatedly raised and answered. You can manually browse
  through the archives (https://stat.ethz.ch/pipermail/r-sig-meta-analysis/)
  or use a search engine of your choice (e.g., go to
  https://cse.google.com/cse?cx=ee4b2e6c93b6a9667 to search the archives with
  Google; however, note that recent posts may not have been indexed by the
  search engine yet and therefore will not show up).

The cse.google.com link above goes to a 'Programmable Search Engine'
(https://programmablesearchengine.google.com/) that allows a search through
the mailing list archives. Unfortunately, Google updates their index only
periodically, so the search will likely miss posts that are less than a few
months old. But it's better than no search at all.

- When posting to the mailing list, please use your real name and include
  information about any institutional/organizational affiliation if possible
  (such as a link to a personal website, university profile page, or social
  media profile). This helps mailing list respondents to understand with whom
  they are conversing and encourages civil, forthright discussion. Posting
  under multiple identities is strongly discouraged; doing so may result in
  being barred from the mailing list.

This one is new. Please be open and transparent about who you are and do not
hide behind pseudonyms.

- If you have posted a similar question in another venue (such as
  CrossValidated or StackOverflow), please include a link to the original
  posting in your message to the mailing list.

So-called 'cross-posting' is generally frowned upon on mailing lists / forums,
since it can lead to wasted time and effort by those answering a question that
has already been solved elsewhere. See also:


- When replying to a post, always send a copy to the mailing list (i.e., don't
  just reply to the person that replied to you).

Still happens occasionally that replies are sent only to the person answering.
Please always include the list in your reply.

Thanks for reading!

Your R-sig-meta-analysis admins

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