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Biostatistics - Authorship Policy

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Collaborating statisticians qualify for authorship on manuscripts and abstracts if the criteria listed below are met. These criteria are derived from the Journal of the American Medical Association's Authorship Criteria and Contributions Policy, and the International Council of Medical Journal Editors Requirements (ICMJE Website International Committee of Medical Journal Editors1 and Parker and Berman2. The latter states, "…the basis for authorship should be whether the statistician has made a scientific contribution to the project.") Based on these references, examples of these criteria include but are not limited to the following:

  • The statistician(s) contributes substantially to the conception and design of the research project (e.g., developing the analysis plan is a substantial contribution to the study design).
  • The statistician(s) interprets results and performs statistical analysis, data management, and data analysis.
  • The statistician(s) writes part of the manuscript describing which statistical methods were used or assists in writing other sections of the manuscript—including revisions.
  • The statistician(s) is asked to review/critique an initial draft and spends time suggesting alternative wording and presentation of results.
  • The statistician(s) has developed new statistical methods to meet the project's needs or has combined existing techniques in a novel manner.

Authorship Order
It is recommended to discuss the authorship order at the initiation of the collaboration. The authorship order of the statisticians depends, as accurately as possible, upon their specific contributions. It is customary to list the faculty statistician as the second author if they have co-led the overall clinical study design, analysis, conduct, and manuscript preparation. If the clinical trial is led by another institution and the BSR faculty is not the lead statistician in the originating institution, then the BSR faculty should be listed as a middle author as long as they have contributed materially to the clinical study design, analysis, conduct and manuscript preparation.

Our policy is that MS and PhD statisticians should not be listed under acknowledgements if any of the above criteria have been met, but should instead be appropriately recognized as authors.


Payment and Authorship

Payment will not be accepted in lieu of authorship. Authorship is determined by intellectual and scientific contributions, as described earlier. Payment allows the collaborating statistician(s) to engage a project in accordance with NIH and Rutgers CINJ guidelines for effort reporting.

1. International Committee of Medical Journal Editors. Uniform requirements for manuscripts submitted to biomedical journals. Ann. Clin. Biochem. 28, 532–541 (1991).
2. Robert A Parker. Criteria for authorship for statisticians in medical papers. Stat. Med. 17, 2289–2299 (1998).


Last updated 02/11/2021