Statistical reviewing for medical journals

Stat Med. 1998 Dec 15;17(23):2661-74. doi: 10.1002/(sici)1097-0258(19981215)17:23<2661::aid-sim33>;2-b.


This paper reviews the difficulties associated with being a statistical reviewer for a medical journal. As background, I consider first the use of statistical reviewers by medical journals, medical journals' policies on statistical peer review, and the limited evidence of its effectiveness. The assessment of a manuscript is considered under the headings of design, methods of analysis, presentation and interpretation, with many illustrative examples of the difficulties to be overcome. I emphasize the judgemental nature of many aspects. I suggest how to present and structure the reviewer's report to the editor. Finally, I consider wider issues, including the various other ways in which statisticians can interact with medical journals.

MeSH terms

  • Peer Review, Research*
  • Periodicals as Topic*
  • Statistics as Topic / standards*