A critical reflection on computing the sampling variance of the partial correlation coefficient
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Description: The partial correlation coefficient quantifies the relationship between two variables while taking into account the effect of one or multiple control variables. Researchers often want to synthesize partial correlation coefficients in a meta-analysis since these can be readily computed based on the reported results of a linear regression analysis. The default inverse variance weights in standard meta-analysis models require researchers to compute not only the partial correlation coefficients of each study but also its corresponding sampling variance. The existing literature is diffuse on how to estimate this sampling variance, because two estimators exist that are both widely used. We critically reflect on both estimators, study their statistical properties, and provide recommendations for applied researchers. We also compute the sampling variances of studies using both estimators in a meta-analysis on the partial correlation between self-confidence and sports performance.