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st: RE: difficulty using META command and exporting output in Stata


From   "Steichen, Thomas" <STEICHT@RJRT.com>
To   "StataList" <statalist@hsphsun2.harvard.edu>
Subject   st: RE: difficulty using META command and exporting output in Stata
Date   Thu, 17 Oct 2002 11:24:13 -0400

Roger Harbord writes (in part):
 
> --On 16 October 2002 15:26 -0400 "Steichen, Thomas"
> <STEICHT@RJRT.com> wrote:

snip
 
> > The help file for -meta- indicates that it saves the
> following results (copied directly from the help file):
> >
> > Saved values
> > ------------
> >
> > S_1    Theta (fixed)
> > S_2    SE Theta (fixed)
> > S_3    Lower CI Limit (fixed)
> > S_4    Upper CI Limit (fixed)
> > S_5    Asymptotic Z-value (fixed)
> > S_6    Asymptotic p-value (fixed)
> > S_7    Theta (random)
> > S_8    SE Theta (random)
> > S_9    Lower CI Limit (random)
> > S_10   Upper CI Limit (random)
> > S_11   Asymptotic Z-value (random)
> > S_12   Asymptotic p-value (random)
> > S_13   Between-studies Variance, tau^2
> >
> <snip>
> 
> Which version of -meta- do you have, or maybe more to the
> point, which  version of the help file do you have and where 
> did you get it from?  The  above doesn't appear in the STB43 
> (sbe16.2) version:
> 
> . net from "http://www.stata.com/stb/stb43/";
> Click on sbe16_2  In the Viewer, click on sbe16_2/meta.hlp
> 
> - there's nothing about Saved values.  The above global
> macros are created  by the sbe16.2 version of -meta- though 
> (except I get S_0 rather than S_10).


Roger has, indeed, caught me out here.  He is correct, there
is nothing about saved values in the released documentation.

I use meta-analysis fairly frequently and have written some of 
the programs in the user-supplied suite of meta-analysis programs.
(In fact, I was involved in some aspects of the -meta- program,
though my name correctly does not appear on the program.)

For that reason, I feel quite adept at modifying, fixing, or 
enhancing such code or help files... thus one of the first things 
I did after -meta- was released in 1998 was fix (in my copy) this 
glaring hole in the documentation.  This much later, I simply 
forgot that I had done so... after all, documentation of saved 
values SHOULD be in help files (this applies to StataCorp help 
files also, but is not done!) so it was easy to forget who 
put it there.

Further, I had a copy of the pre-release version of what ended
up as sbe16.2, and global S_0 was correctly listed as S_10.  
Why it was changed to S_0 in the released version is unclear,
nonetheless, I changed it back to S_10 in _my_ copy to be consistent
with _my_ documentation and the draft version (I assumed the authors
would eventually fix this).

Thus a long explanation for a short story... I was wrong,
I put it in my copy, and my answer is slightly inconsistent with
the released program.

But, you may choose to modify the help file yourself... if you do
so, text:


Saved values
------------

S_1    Theta (fixed)
S_2    SE Theta (fixed)
S_3    Lower CI Limit (fixed)
S_4    Upper CI Limit (fixed)
S_5    Asymptotic Z-value (fixed)
S_6    Asymptotic p-value (fixed)
S_7    Theta (random)
S_8    SE Theta (random)
S_9    Lower CI Limit (random)
S_0    Upper CI Limit (random)
S_11   Asymptotic Z-value (random)
S_12   Asymptotic p-value (random)
S_13   Between-studies Variance, tau^2

 
would be correct for the released program.
 

Roger also says:
 
> I also just noticed that the v7 Stata manuals have an entry 
> for [R] meta, which lists the various user-written programs.  
> However, if you slavishly follow the example instructions 
> given for installing -meta-, you'll end up with an out-of-date 
> version of -metap- instead!

I guess one must blame StataCorp for this minor error.  They 
clearly list in their table STB-43 and sbe16.2 as the appropriate 
trail to find the current release of -meta-.  Nonetheless, they 
use STB48 and sbe28 in their step-by-step installation example, 
leading to the initial version of -metap- being installed instead.  
I'd bet it is not the only typo in the manual, but surely it is 
one of the more minor blemishes (at least my name is spelled
correctly in the table!).

Thanks Roger,

Tom
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