Short and Long Views of Integrative Data Analysis: Comments on Contributions to the Special Issue

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The author comments on the potential of integrative data analysis (IDA) as a new methodological activity and on some of the topics that were discussed in the 5 articles in this special issue. One topic is the extent to which IDA will be used to provide conclusive summaries regarding the strength of evidence for well-specified questions versus to provide new information that goes beyond the simple sum of individual studies. Another is the meaning of variances of effects that are observed over studies and sample strata. A 3rd is the potential to enhance understanding of construct validity by fitting measurement models described in the special issue. The author concludes by recommending critical examination of model-based inferences from IDA through sensitivity analyses and by noting that IDA can promote collaboration and networks that yield data that are more amenable to integrated analyses in the future.

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