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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.

Original publication

DOI

10.1002/(sici)1097-0258(19981215)17:23<2661::aid-sim33>3.0.co;2-b

Type

Journal article

Journal

Statistics in medicine

Publication Date

12/1998

Volume

17

Pages

2661 - 2674

Addresses

ICRF Medical Statistics Group, Centre for Statistics in Medicine, Institute of Health Sciences, Oxford, U.K. altman@icrf.icnet.uk

Keywords

Peer Review, Research, Periodicals as Topic, Statistics as Topic