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University of Colorado Denver



General policy

The CBC abides by the International Committee of Medical Journal Editors (ICMJE) guidelines concerning authorship.

Specific CBC guidelines include:
  • The biostatistician performing the analysis will be a co-author on the publication to acknowledge the intellectual contribution to the work.  Statistician co-authors will use their primary appointment affiliation on manuscripts and abstracts.
  • To maintain study and statistical integrity, data collected for publication and abstracts will only be analyzed after study completion.
  • The CBC biostatistician performs the analysis, collaborates in the structuring of the presentation of the results, and writes the "statistical methods" section of the paper.
  • The biostatistician reviews the publication and any revisions prior to submission.
  • The biostatistician will assist with revisions, keeping in mind your revision deadlines.

The position of the collaborative biostatistician in the order of listed authors depends on the extent of the individual contribution.  Below we provide some general guidelines when discussing authorship order.

  • First author:  The statistician plays a major role in project development or hypothesis generation, (when existing data) substantially changes the direction of the hypothesis and corresponding analysis, provides a unique contribution, conducts the analysis, and writes a large portion of the paper.
  • Second author:  The biostatistician plays a major role in project development, became the statistician on the project because of expertise in the statistical aspects of the research, or conducts substantial and/or complex analysis of the data.
    • This is a typical position for a statistician involved in the life cycle of a project or who has unique analytic expertise (e.g., mediation analysis, microbiome, genomics).
  • A middle-listed author:  The biostatistician does not necessarily collaborate in the design of the study, but conducts the data analysis, writes the "statistical methods" section, and assists in interpreting the results for the conclusion.
  • Senior author:  The biostatistician provides significant mentoring to the first author, offering guidance for the first author to conduct the analysis, or plays a major role in helping the first author design the study.  There has generally been substantial one-on-one meeting time as well as additional analysis and paper writing support beyond a typical collaborative role.
  • When a junior or student biostatistician is mentored by a senior statistician, the senior statistician immediately follows the junior statistician within the authorship line (e.g., if the junior statistician is second author, the mentoring statistician would generally be listed as third author).

Colorado Biostatistics Consortium

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