Individual genome scans tend to have low power and can produce markedly biased estimates of QTL effects. Further, the confidence interval for their location is often prohibitively large for subsequent fine mapping and positional cloning. Given that a large number of genome scans have been conducted, not to mention the large number of variables and subsets tested, it is difficult to confidently rule out type 1 error as an explanation for significant effects even when there is apparent replication in a separate data set. We adapted Empirical Bayes (EB) methods  to analyze data from multiple genome scans simultaneously and alleviate each of these problems while still allowing for different QTL population effects across studies. We investigated the effects of using the EB method to include data from background studies to update the results of a single study of interest via simulation and demonstrated that it has a stable confidence level over a wide range of parameters defining the background studies and increased the power to detect linkage, even when some of the background studies were null or had QTL effect at other markers. This EB method for incorporating data from multiple studies into genome scan analyses seems promising. Copyright © 2005 S. Karger AG.