I hope I'm asking in the right place. Otherwise, I apologize.

I'm a medical student and I want to do a systematic review and meta-analysis on a therapy of a certain disease. In the literature, there are around 5 clinical trials. I found one systematic review done in 2014 that included 5 clinical trials. However:

  1. 2 of those 5 studies are trials of 2 therapies combined.
  2. For reason 1, a meta-analysis could not be done.

My question is: is it worth it and publishable to do a meta-analysis on the 3 remaining studies, which include ONLY one therapy?

  • Welcome to Academia SE! This is an interesting question (one whose answer I would personally like to know), but I suspect that the question might be outside the scope of Academia SE because it depends entirely on the results of the 3 remaining studies (that is, are they consistent or do they contradict each other). As such, the answer depends on "the content of research", which is outside the scope of this site: academia.stackexchange.com/help/on-topic. So, I recommend that you ask your advisor or an expert colleague.
    – Tripartio
    Jul 8, 2021 at 9:33

1 Answer 1


It seems unlikely that anyone on this site would be able to give you “correct” advice on this topic. I would recommend that you ask your advisor if you have one. However, I can offer some general remarks as someone outside your field.

  • If you are interested in this question and think it to be an important one to answer, it is worthwhile to pursue, even if only for its own sake (your learning).
  • If your colleagues/advisor also think it is interesting, this might mean that it’s worthwhile to pursue it to publication.

That is to say, consider the readership for such a study. Would a journal want to publish your results? (Have journals in your field published studies like this before?) Would this benefit others in your field? Considering questions like these might help you find your answer.

  • If you learn something from it, then it is "acceptable". But whether it is publishable is another issue.
    – Buffy
    Jul 7, 2021 at 12:06

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