Thanks to peer review, I discovered a very useful, neat body of papers on how to read meta-analyses. Extremely useful for those that want to read and use them but not necessarily do them. Most are written for clinicians and apply to randomized controlled trials. However, the same principles and ‘how to read’ them apply to ecological meta-analyses as well. I particularly enjoyed the big picture description by Humphrey.
Russo, M. W. 2007. How to review a meta-analysis. – Gastroenterology & Hepatology 3: 637-642.
Ried, K. 2006. Interpreting and understanding meta-analysis graphs. – Australian Family Physician 35: 635-638.
Leucht, S., Kissling, W. and Davis, J. M. 2009. How to read and understand and use systematic reviews and meta-analyses. – Acta Psychiatrica Scandinavica 119: 443-450.
Humphrey, S. E. 2011. What does a great meta-analysis look like? – Organizational Psychology Review 1: 99-103.
Here is my effort at meta-meta synthesis for ecology: