What offers a consultant to a consultee
Services a Statistician May Provide
1. Recommend study design
2. Recommend sample size
3. Contribute technical writing/editing of proposal
4. Help design data collection forms
5. Recommend data entry/management systems
6. Oversee data entry/data management
7. Provide data quality checks and cleaning
8. Plan data analysis
9. Recommend software for proposed analysis
10. Implement data analysis
11. Summarize results
12. Prepare tables, figures, grafts
13. Technical writing/editing of manuscript
14. Review a dry run of oral presentations and slides
15. Help respond to referees of a submitted manuscript
Steps to Facilitate Interaction with a Statistical Consultant
1. Send several articles from the literature search to the consultant, prior to your first meeting, so that he or she may become familiar with the current knowledge base.
2. Supply the consultant with a brief statement regarding the motivation for and importance of the proposed topic, based on the available literature and/or other background material.
3. Send several articles that illustrate the type of study you would like to perform, and that illustrate the type of statistical analysis you would like to have conducted.
4. Have a list of the people involved, their roles, and an idea of the budget or other funding sources available to complete the project. Be prepared to discuss compensation for the consultant. Statisticians typically charge $50 to $100 per hour. Also be prepared to discuss authorship on the final manuscript, depending on the degree of input by the statistician.
5. Be open and honest in communicating your knowledge and areas of weakness. Immediately tell the consultant when you do not understand him or her (it will not become clearer later).
6. When choosing a consultant, ask about his or her familiarity with the subject area, and make sure he or she has the time available to assist you in your project. Failure to confirm the amount of time available to work on your study may result in serious delays in the data evaluation and presentation of the research. You may want to request a re´sume´ or list of publications.
7. Ask for references for the statistical approach the consultant is proposing.
8. Ask for assistance with the creation of data collection tools and databases. Even if the statistician does not help with these steps, make sure he or she reviews.
Jones,James B. (2000) Research Fundamentals: Statistical Considerations in Research Design: A Simple Person’s Approach, Academic Emergency Medicine, 7(2):194-199.