Dataset for: Data generating models of dichotomous outcomes: Heterogeneity in simulation studies for a random-effects meta-analysis

Simulation studies to evaluate performance of statistical methods require a well specified Data Generating Model. Details of these models are essential to interpret the results and arrive at proper conclusions. A case in point is random-effects meta-analysis of dichotomous outcomes. We reviewed a number of simulation studies that evaluated approximate normal models for meta-analysis of dichotomous outcomes and we assessed the data generating models that were used to generate events for a series of (heterogeneous) trials. We demonstrate that the performance of the statistical methods, as assessed by simulation, differs between these three alternative Data Generating Models, with larger differences apparent in the small population setting. Our findings are relevant to multilevel binomial models in general.