Policies for Manuscript Writing
A common concern is whether biostatistical consultants should be co-authors on scientific papers. We believe that decisions about authorship should be independent of consideration of funding.
As recommended in published guidelines (Parker RA, Berman NG: Criteria for authorship for statisticians in medical papers. Statistics in Medicine 17: 2289-2299 (1998)), "The basis of financial support should be the time/effort spent on a project and the basis for authorship should be whether the statistician has made a scientific contribution to the project."
Some examples of scientific contributions are the following.
- The statistician has developed new statistical methods to meet the project's needs, and/or has combined existing techniques in a novel manner.
- The statistician has participated in designing the study.
- The statistician writes part of the manuscript describing which statistical methods were used and/or assists in writing other sections of the manuscript including revisions.
- The statistician is asked to review/critique an initial draft and spends time suggesting alternative wording and presentation of results.
- The statistician provides data analysis along with interpretation of results.
It is our policy that MS and PhD biostatisticians should not just be listed under acknowledgements if any of the above criteria have been met.
It is our policy that the researcher(s) and biostatistician(s) assigned to the project to agree on criteria for authorship early in their collaboration. Any difference of opinion between the researcher(s) and the biostatistician(s) assigned about authorship will be addressed by the Chair and/or the Director of the Center for Biostatistics and Advanced Informatics .
Whether or not the biostatistician is an author, it is important to allow sufficient time for the biostatistician to check statistical results and descriptions of statistical methods that appear in a manuscript. The time it takes to ensure appropriate methodology is utilized and described varies from project to project, and it is also a function of other deadlines. Therefore, communication between the researcher(s) and the biostatistician(s) is key, specifically by defining any impending deadlines up front. It is our policy not to finalize any publication until thorough data cleaning has been performed. Final versions of manuscripts must be reviewed and approved prior to submission. Following submission a final copy must be provided to the biostatistician and the Department's Director of Operations, Ms. Wendy Anderson.
Policies for Participation in Abstract Submission
Biostatisticians funded by a project or involved in collaboration on a project to work on an abstract require a minimum of two weeks (for simple analyses) or four weeks (for more complex analyses) notice before the abstract deadline, provided that a clean dataset is presented to the biostatistician. If data cleaning is required, the timeline will increase by the amount of time necessary to ensure the data is cleaned appropriately. Final versions of abstracts must be reviewed and approved prior to submission. Following submission a final copy must be provided to the biostatistician and the Department's Director of Operations, Ms. Wendy Anderson.