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I would like to present a meta-analysis on a homepage. This should include a forest plot to visualize the effect sizes from individual studies as well as the summary statistics. I was wondering whether this plot is 'legal' as I am taking results (effects sizes) from published papers and present them 'for free' as part of this meta-analysis?

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  • $\begingroup$ As long as you properly cite the authors and use already published data only, it is legal. $\endgroup$ – Néstor Jul 11 '12 at 5:53
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As long as you cite the original papers it's legal. You can't reproduce large tracts of the paper or the original figures on your site without permission. But aggregating just the results in a new and unique figure is perfectly legal.

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    $\begingroup$ just to add to this, in some cases, you can use figures without explicit permission. Most publishers will have a permissions page that outlines what they allow: e.g., this APA one: apa.org/about/contact/copyright/index.aspx $\endgroup$ – Jeromy Anglim Aug 20 '12 at 1:21
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If you analyze the data yourself, regardless of the source, then you can present it. The issue you should be aware of is whether or not you intend on publishing this forest plot at a later date. Journals often do not accept material that was publicly presented prior to submission.

Ahmed Abou-Setta, MD, PhD

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If you have published your meta-analysis, you should be cautious about the copyright contract you signed with the publisher. Many publishers allow to publish your figure but with their written consent.

If that is solved, it is of course possible to put your figure on your website, but you still need to cite those articles. You also need to give full description of your own meta-analysis paper and give proper links to the publisher website.

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