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Research Protocols

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The purpose of this document is to provide readers with the coding protocol that authors used to code 22 meta-analyses focused on mathematics interventions for students with or at-risk of disabilities. The purpose of the systematic review was to evaluate reporting quality in meta-analyses focused on mathematics interventions for students with or at risk of disabilities. To identify meta-analyses for inclusion, we considered peer-reviewed literature published between 2000 and 2020; we searched five education-focused electronic databases, scanned the table of contents of six special education journals, reviewed the curriculum vitae of researchers who frequently publish meta-analyses in mathematics and special education, and scanned the reference lists of meta-analyses that met inclusion criteria. To be included in this systematic review, meta-analyses must have reported on the effectiveness of mathematics-focused interventions, provided a summary effect for a mathematics outcome variable, and included school-aged participants with or at risk of having a disability. We identified 22 meta-analyses for inclusion. We coded each meta-analysis for 53 quality indicators (QIs) across eight categories based on recommendations from Talbott et al. (2018). Overall, the meta-analyses met 61% of QIs and results indicated that meta-analyses most frequently met QIs related to providing a clear purpose (95%) and data analysis plan (77%), whereas meta-analyses typically met fewer QIs related to describing participants (39%) and explaining the abstract screening process (48%). We discuss the variation in QI scores within and across the quality categories and provide recommendations for future researchers so that reporting in meta-analyses may be enhanced. Limitations of the current study are that grey literature was not considered for inclusion and that only meta-analyses were included; this limits the generalizability of the results to other research syntheses (e.g., narrative reviews, systematic reviews) and publication types (e.g., dissertations).


To access the corresponding dataset for this protocol please see:

Creative Commons License

Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International License