PsychOpen CAMA under Development

ZPID is currently building a platform that will enable the replication and extension of meta-analyses. The initial study protocol documenting this project is now available in PsychArchives.

The PsychOpen CAMA (Community Augmented Meta-Analyses) platform will enable collaborative pooling of findings from primary studies in order to synthesize them meta-analytically. Existing systems in psychology have already been presented at the Research Synthesis Conference series hosted by ZPID: metaBUS by Frank Bosco in 2018 and metalab by Christina Bergmann in 2019.

A large number of meta-analyses do not meet common publication standards (Daniel Lakens’ comments on this topic at the 2018 Research Synthesis Conference in Trier). Consequently, the literature selection and the extraction of information and effect sizes, which are very time-consuming, are not sustainable. This is especially troublesome when meta-analyses become obsolete over time, for example, as a result of recently published study results. "When the data from previous meta-analyses are not available, the work starts all over again. This is why we want to offer the psychological research community a platform to curate and augment meta-analyses", says Tanja Burgard, CAMA product manager at ZPID. 

Furthermore, PsychOpen CAMA is designed to allow interested users to replicate meta-analyses and to modify model specifications (such as moderator variables). "This is important for evaluating the influence of an author’s subjective choices on the results and will allow users to extract even more information from meta-analytic data than it is possible from a printed meta-analysis", explains Tanja Burgard. The cumulative evidence derived from the meta-analyses in PsychOpen CAMA will also be used for study planning. This will be supported by quick overviews of the study situation in the desired research area and evidence-based estimation of expected effect sizes provided by PsychOpen CAMA.  

More information than from a printed meta-analysis

Hosting such a platform for psychology and related fields at ZPID generates a variety of synergy effects. For instance, ZPID plans to store the data from preregistered studies or studies conducted at the ZPID PsychArchives. When relevant for meta-analyses in PsychOpen CAMA, these data will supplement the meta-analytic information available to users. Analyses that go beyond the basic functionality of PsychOpen CAMA will be possible in PsychNotebook. 

The website for the system is currently being programmed. According to Robert Studtrucker, who is developing the platform for ZPID: "The technical basis of PsychOpen CAMA is a web application with an OpenCPU server for the R calculations. This combination enables us to create a modern, secure, and, according to the number of users, scalable web application by combining the respective advantages of both technical systems. This includes, for example, the straightforward integration of user authentication via a direct link to our single sign-on system, which will enable a centralized login to all ZPID applications in the future. "

Functionality testing in summer

Preliminary functions should be available for testing in the summer of 2020. A team of researchers from the University of Vienna and ZPID will use the system  to investigate the possibilities and strengths of PsychOpen CAMA. The preregistered study protocol is available in PsychArchives