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Meta-Analysis Systematic Review Support (MARS) Program

The goal of Tulane Meta-Analysis Systematic Review Support (MARS) Program is to promote scholarship and visibility of Tulane Scholars through increasing high impact publications and citations.

The MARS Program provides Tulane Scholars with assistance in conducting key components of systematic reviews and meta-analyses. 

Well conducted systematic reviews and meta-analyses allow for a more comprehensive and transparent appraisal of existing evidence. Principally, meta-analyses contribute to existing evidence by offering quantitative explanations of pooled effect estimates, heterogeneity between studies, and treatment effects in subgroups of patients. Conducting such reviews supports generation of new evidence, perspectives and hypotheses to advance the field and increase the impact of evidence-based research. The MARS program provides the support to increase the efficiency of Tulane scholars in completing systematic reviews and meta-analyses.

If you are interested in conducting a systematic review (SR) or meta-analysis (MA) with the MARS Program, please submit the pre-application below: 

Pre-Application 

 

If you have met with the MARS Scientific Research Analyst and have completed the pre-application process, please submit the application below: 

Application

 

Eligibility

Tulane scholars (faculty, students, trainees, and staff) who will be the corresponding authors with Tulane listed as the corresponding institution of record are eligible for MARS. Priority will be given to full time faculty (any track), post-doctoral trainees with a full time Tulane faculty member as co-author, and graduate students with a full time Tulane faculty member as co-author. Individuals completing the meta-analysis or systematic review as part of a course or degree requirement are NOT eligible to apply for this support. It is expected that those requesting MARS support have the content expertise for the proposed project and that the applicant and/or their team has a foundation for conducting systematic reviews and meta-analyses. 

Due to the high demand for support and the limits of the MARS Program resources, MARS is currently focusing on projects with a tangible goal of submission for publication within 6 months of application submission. 

Application Process

The MARS Program uses a 2-phase application process: (1) pre-application (2) full application (see below). The pre-application phase connects the applicant to the MARS program to assess if the applicant meets initial eligibility criteria (see above) and to explore feasibility of the proposed project. Those who are eligible will meet with the MARS Scientific Research Analyst and a Tulane librarian to assess the content, feasibility and timeline of the proposed project. Once feasibility has been determined, the scholar will continue to work with the MARS Scientific Research Analyst to develop a project protocol in accordance with PRISMA guidelines. The scholar will then submit their protocol with the full application to the MARS program. The application, including the protocol, will be reviewed and final acceptance determined. 

 

Expectations

Prior to requesting assistance, it is expected Tulane scholars will familiarize themselves with systematic review and meta-analysis methodology. To facilitate scholars' success in completing high impact systematic reviews and meta-analyses, Tulane scholars will provide a study protocol in accordance with PRISMA guidelines before acceptance into the program. Links to guidelines and procedures are provided below. 

PRISMA Protocol Guidelines

 

PRISMA Reporting Guidelines

 

Because this is a university shared resource, it is expected that Tulane Scholars are actively involved in conducting the reviews and analyses with support from the MARS program staff. Please highlight your specific needs when requesting assistance. 

Resources

To prepare scholars in understanding meta-analysis methodology, we are please to provide access to our webinar recordings of the Meta-Analysis Workshop and Q&A Series conducted by Tulane University Professor of Epidemiology, Tanika Kelly, PhD, MPH. The Meta-Analysis Workshop Series provided didactic training on the following learning objectives: 

1. Conduct systematic literature searches using large electronic databases and other resources

2. Assess the relevance and quality of scientific publications

3. Extract key data from scientific publications

4. Conduct quantitative analyses to synthesize information across a large-number of studies using standard meta-analysis techniques

 

Please email the MARS Scientific Research Analyst, Samantha O'Connell, to request access to the recordings. 

Assistance Offered

Assistance will be offered for key components of systematic reviews and/or meta-analyses in the following areas: formulating a research question, developing a study protocol, defining study eligibility criteria, conducting a comprehensive literature review (in collaboration with the Tulane Library staff), selecting studies for inclusion, extracting data from identified studies, assessing risk of bias in identified studies, synthesizing data, and preparing a structured report. 

Program Supported Publications
Contact Us

M. A. "Tonette" Krousel-Wood
Professor of Medicine
Professor of Epidemiology
Associate Provost for the Health Sciences
Senior Associate Dean for Faculty Affairs in the School of Medicine
Associate Dean for Public Health & Medical Education
mawood@tulane.edu
 

Samantha O'Connell
Scientific Research Analyst II
Office of Academic Affairs and Provost
soconne1@tulane.edu