This year marked the 30th anniversary since publication of the landmark paper “Meta-Analysis in Clinical Trials” by Rebecca DerSimonian (PhD ¹83) & Nan Laird (1986, Controlled Clinical Trials 7, 177-188).
One of the most highly cited research publications, the paper describes a random-effects model for meta-analysis and applies it to a series of previously published meta-analytic data sets. A particular feature of the paper is the use of a non-iterative moment estimate of the between-study variance in treatment effects. This made random-effects meta-analysis a highly accessible alternative to the fixed effect(s) approach.
To celebrate the milestone, the British and Irish Region of the International Biometric Society presented ³30 Years of DerSimonian and Laird’s Methodology – A Celebration!² an afternoon meeting at the University College London that aimed to set the paper into a modern context. Speakers included Julian Higgins (University of Bristol), Kerry Dwan (University of Liverpool), Richard Riley (Keele University) and Theo Stijnen (LUMC).
Congratulations to Rebecca and Nan for being honored at such a special celebration!