Co-Authorship Guidelines

Please use the following guidelines for determining co-authorship for biostatisticians:

Guidelines for Determining Co-Authorship for Biostatisticians

Determining whether a statistical consultant should be a co-author can be a difficult issue and should be discussed in the beginning stages of collaboration between the statistician and the project investigator. Generally speaking, authorship should be based on the level of participation and should not be influenced by whether or not the consultant was paid. It is the Pediatric Research Alliance Biostatistics Core’s policy that the biostatistician (both Ph.D. and M.S.) should be listed as a co-author if there has been a scientific or an intellectual contribution to the research. The following guidelines are recommendations that may be helpful in determining level of scientific contribution made by the statistician and whether or not co-authorship is warranted. Our guidelines are based on the recommendations set forth by the International Committee of Medical Journal Editors (ICMJE) (

Authorship credit should be based only on:

  1. substantial contributions to conception and design or acquisition of data or analysis and interpretation of the data
  2. drafting of the article or revising it critically for important intellectual detail
  3. final approval of the version to be published.

Authors should meet conditions 1, 2, and 3.

Examples of Scientific Contribution

  • Structuring the study question(s) into a form that is amenable to statistical analysis.
  • Preparation of a statistical analysis plan so that analyses are targeted toward answering the study questions.
  • Data analysis including checking for data errors.
  • Interpretation and explanation of study results.
  • Organization of the analysis into tables that are suitable for publication.
  • Writing the statistical methods section of the manuscript.
  • Writing and editing the results section of the manuscript.
  • Reviewing and editing the final manuscript prior to submission.
  • Responding to referee comments.

The above guidelines are specific to authorship on manuscripts but can also be extended to abstract submissions and poster presentations.

Citing the Biostatistics Core

All abstracts, publications, grant proposals, and other related documents made possible through the use of this core must cite “Pediatric Research Alliance Biostatistics Core” in the acknowledgements.