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Information for Authors


Biostatistics publishes papers that develop innovative statistical methods with applications to the understanding of human health and disease, including basic biomedical sciences. Papers should focus on methods and applications. Introduction of original methodology should be grounded in substantive problems. Authors are encouraged to present extensive supporting material, such as software or data on the journal’s website as supplementary materials. The editors may also require authors to use the supplementary material feature for detailed descriptions of simulation studies or other technical material as a condition of acceptance of a paper.

Papers submitted for publication in Biostatistics should satisfy at least one of the following criteria:

  • development of new stochastic models or statistical methodology clearly motivated by a substantive problem in health or biomedical sciences;
  • innovative application of statistical methodology to address a substantive problem in health or biomedical sciences;
  • critical review of an area of statistical methodology relevant to health or biomedical science applications, with a focus on practical utility;
  • case studies based on important health or biomedical sciences data.

Biostatistics also publishes shorter communications of several kinds:

  • Notes are short papers (generally one or two journal pages) on topics related to good biostatistical practice;
  • Letters are communications relating directly to papers previously published in the journal, and would typically be published together with a brief response from the authors of the paper concerned;
  • Software news items are announcements of new open source software implementations of methodology previously published in the journal.

This Journal takes publication ethics very seriously. If misconduct is found or suspected after the manuscript is published, the journal will investigate the matter and this may result in the article subsequently being retracted.

Reproducible Research

Our reproducible research policy is for papers in the journal to be kite-marked D if the data on which they are based are freely available, C if the authors’ code is freely available, and R if both data and code are available, and our Associate Editor for Reproducibility is able to use these to reproduce the results in the paper. Data and code are published electronically on the journal’s website as Supplementary Materials.

Preparation and Submission of Manuscripts

The editors of Biostatistics are committed to minimizing the time from submission to publication of excellent papers so that new methodology can influence rapidly-developing substantive specialties.

All submissions, new or revised, will be processed through the Manuscript Central online Submission system. To submit an article, you will need to log into our online submission web site.

You will first need to register by clicking on the 'Create account' button on the login screen and following the on-screen instructions. Please note that users of other Manuscript Central journals cannot use their existing login details for our submission web site, and must register separately to submit to Biostatistics.

New Submission
Please refer to instructions below on submitting files.

TeX or LaTeX files - If you have prepared your manuscript using TeX or LaTeX please create a PDF version to upload. This should be the complete manuscript (text with figures appearing at the end of a paper).

Please note that only the PDF is required on submission and LaTeX files will be requested at revision stage.

For creating manuscripts in LaTeX, Biostatistics recommends the use of its LaTeX template. Our templates are available online at Overleaf and also as a downloadable package via the links below.

Overleaf is a free, collaborative online LaTeX editor that allows you to write your manuscript in a TeX or rich text environment, to generate PDF outputs as you write, and to share your manuscript with co-authors and collaborators. Overleaf also allows you to submit your manuscript files directly into our online submission system, without needing to upload files manually, as well as to make updates to those files if preparing a revised submission. If you are submitting via Overleaf please use the link below, and adapt the .tex file provided or upload your own manuscript files.

If you are using the Biostatistics template, it is essential that you make use of both the style file (BIO.CLS) as well as the corresponding sample LaTeX file (SAMPLE.TEX for non-BIBTeX users and SAMPLEBIBTEX.TEX for BIBTeX users). Only then will the Biostatistics customized style options come into effect. It is okay to rename the LaTeX file, but no changes should be made to definitions and newcommands in the document. Restrict the use of user-defined definitions and newcommands to the minimum. In particular, the "hyperref" package should not be used.

Overleaf template



ScholarOne site

Word-processed files, Excel tables and 'standard' image files - If you have written your manuscript using a word-processing application - e.g. Microsoft Word - please prepare files with 'standard' extensions (such as .doc, .rtf, .xls, .jpg, .eps or .tif). Manuscript Central will convert all of these automatically into a SINGLE PDF for the peer review process, so please try to avoid duplication/overlap of content between files. Please name each file logically with a suffix indicating its type and sequence (e.g. "your_ref_figure1.eps" or "your_ref_table2.xls”).

To submit a new manuscript, go to the 'Author Centre', click on “Click here to submit a new manuscript', and follow the on-screen instructions. At any stage you can save your work by clicking on the save button at the bottom of the page and the partially completed submission will be saved under 'unsubmitted manuscripts' in your 'Author Centre'. To return to the submission process you will need to click on the button 'Continue Submission' against the relevant manuscript title.
After the manuscript has been submitted you will see a confirmation screen and receive an email confirmation stating that your manuscript has been successfully submitted. This will also give the assigned manuscript number, which is used in all correspondence during peer review. If you do not receive this, your manuscript will not have been successfully submitted to the journal and the paper cannot progress to peer review.

Revised Submission
If you are submitting a revised version of a paper originally submitted to Biostatistics before 26 May 2009, please follow the above procedure for new submissions.
If you are submitting a revised version of a paper which was submitted to Biostatistics via the Manuscript Central online submission system, please follow the procedure below.
Logon to the online submission web site as before and, in the 'Author Centre', click on 'Manuscripts with Decision'. You will then see the title of any manuscripts you submitted where revision has been requested. Click on the “create a revision” button and enter in the first page your response to the reviewers’ comments (sent to you by email). Complete the rest of the submission as normal. Remove any incorrect files and replace them with the correct files on the file upload page. Click submit to send your file back to the editorial office.

Supplementary Materials
Many of our published papers now include Supplementary Material that is not printed in the journal but can be viewed online. Supplementary material should be presented as a self-contained document and uploaded separately from the manuscript. Further information on this can be viewed here.

If you require further assistance, please contact Dianne Dixon.

General Requirements

Authors are strongly recommended to browse through a recent issue of Biostatistics to familiarize themselves with the typical format and conventions used in articles.

For guidance on setting mathematics, please see our short guide

Submissions consist of two parts:

  • The Main Manuscript File, containing: title, authors and affiliations, summary, keywords the body of the manuscript, a short section describing the Supplementary Materials, acknowledgements, references, tables, and figures.
  • Supplementary Materials, containing technical appendices, additional materials (e.g., extensive simulations), software-related materials (programs, output, data sets, software manuals, etc.).

Manuscripts should be prepared preferably using the Biostatistics LaTeX class, which can be downloaded at the links above, under 'New Submission'. Although not encouraged, other formats are acceptable.

Manuscripts submitted should be typeset with double interline distance, in 12 point Times New Roman font, with 2.5cm or 1 inch white margins, and with at most 25 lines per page.

The Main Manuscript File and the Supplementary Materials will undergo the same rigorous peer review.

About the Main Manuscript File:

  • Title, authors and affiliations, summary, keywords the body of the manuscript, acknowledgements, a short section describing the Supplementary Materials, and the references (excluding tables and figures) should not exceed 25 manuscript pages (A4 or letter). Note these limitations of length apply to initial submission only! It is common for the co-editors to request further length reduction of revisions.
  • The order in which these manuscript elements appear should be followed meticulously. In particular and very importantly, tables and figures should come at the very end of the document and should not be inserted into the body of the manuscript.
  • Tables and figures that are not referred to from within the main text should not be included.
  • The number of tables and figures should be limited and authors must avoid duplicating information between main text, tables, and figures.
  • The Main Manuscript File should not contain appendices.
  • Upon acceptance, the Main Manuscript File will appear in print and online.
  • When Supplementary Materials are present, they should be referred to in the Main Manuscript File (e.g., “In Appendix B of the Supplementary Materials,…”), apart from their description in the dedicated section, following the body of the manuscript, and preceding acknowledgement and references.

About the Supplementary Materials:

  • The same stylistic conventions must be followed as for Main Manuscript Files.
  • For ease of use, it is preferable to place all Supplementary Materials in a single file. When advisable to divide the materials over several files, their total number should be kept to a minimum.
  • Upon acceptance, the Supplementary Materials will be placed online only.
  • The Supplementary Materials should have the same title, authors, and affiliation information as the Main Manuscript File, with the phrase “Supplementary Materials” inserted immediately following the title.

Manuscript submitted that fail to comply with the above guidelines, especially regarding sequencing of materials, division of material over Main Manuscript File and Supplementary Materials, font and spacing, and overall length restrictions, will be returned to the author without review for restructuring and resubmission. Evidently, this will cause delays.

When authors are invited to submit a revised version of their manuscript, it is possible that additional requirements, such as further length reduction, will be specified.

It is important that authors meticulously comply with all stylistic, notational, and typographical conventions as specified below, and of which samples are to be found in recent issues of Biostatistics.

Authors should take great care in adopting and closely following consistent notation, in line with general conventions wherever possible. With the broadest possible dissemination of research results in mind, the notational apparatus should be as simple as possible.

Papers submitted to Biostatistics should be neither exactly identical nor approximately similar to work under consideration by other journals or having appeared in the publicly-available literature, be it by the same authors, overlapping groups of co-authors, or different authors altogether. No passages in the paper shall be identical to work being considered or having been published in the publicly-available literature.

Stylistic Requirements

It is recommended that authors use the Biostatistics LaTeX document class, to be downloaded at the link above, under 'New Submission'.

A section labeled "Supplementary Materials" should be included immediately prior to the "Acknowledgements" section, briefly describing which materials may be accessed at the Biostatistics web pages. It should be composed as per the following example:

“The reader is referred to the on-line Supplementary Materials for technical appendices, additional simulations, annotated SAS and R programs, and example output.”

Biostatistics does not allow footnotes.

Carefully check your references, and double check the following points:

  • Only those references referred to in the manuscript should be included.
  • References and citations must be formatted, meticulously following the journal’s conventions (please peruse a recent issue).
  • In the list of references, all authors must be listed.
  • In the main text, citations include all authors when there are one, two, or three authors, according to the following examples.
    • Diggle (1998) stated that…
    • In a seminal paper, Liang and Zeger (1996) introduced…
    • Johnson, Lewis, and Peterson (2007) proposed…
  • When there are four or more authors, citations take the following form:
    • Henderson et al. (2004) found the estimator to be…

The summary should take the form of a one-paragraph statement of the problem tackled, methodology developed, and results obtained. When there are simulations and/or data examples, it is preferable to mention these in the summary. No text in the summary should be repeated in the main paper. No symbols should be used in the summary. Whenever references are necessary in the summary, they should be given in full.

The summary should be followed by a set of keywords (ordinarily 5-10). They should be placed in alphabetical order, using style and punctuation as in recent issues of Biostatistics.

Tables should not include vertical lines. They should be typeset following the conventions of recent issues of Biostatistics.

Please capitalize "Section" when referring to sections of the paper in the text.

Equations should use the [{()}] hierarchy.

Whenever they are available for mathematical reserved words, use the proper LaTeX definitions. For example:

  • \exp instead of exp
  • \log instead of log

Use \hat rather than \widehat, \tilde rather than \widetilde and \bar rather than \overline.

Displayed equations should comply with the overall punctuation system.

Display equations only if necessary. If they are not numbered and sufficiently concise, please fit them into the text.

Authors should carefully reflect on the number of decimal places used, and also present measures of precision in a clear fashion. A few examples:

  • Inappropriate: p=0.12587363483
    Appropriate: p=0.1259 or p=0.13
  • Inappropriate: “The corresponding correlation is 0.456 ±0.13.”
    Appropriate: “The corresponding correlation is estimated to be 0.456 (s.e. 0.128).”
    Appropriate: “The corresponding correlation is estimated to be 0.46 (s.e. 0.13).”
  • Inappropriate: “The corresponding interval is 0.456±0.26.”
    Appropriate: “The corresponding correlation is estimated to be 0.456 (95% confidence interval [0.200;0.712]).”
    Appropriate: “The corresponding correlation is estimated to be 0.46 (95% confidence interval [0.20;0.71]).”

Ordinarily, symbols denoting vectors and matrices are in bold typeface, while their scalar counterparts are not.

Figures created by the major statistical software, graphical, and database packages are generally acceptable. They should be sufficiently legible and all symbols used must be clearly defined. Often, figures in the printed and online versions of a manuscript will be smaller than during the peer-review phase; therefore, all symbols and text should be sufficiently large to remain comfortably legible after reduction. Figures should be numbered consecutively and be accompanied by a descriptive caption, placed beneath the figure.

Tables must be numbered consecutively and must be accompanied by a descriptive caption, preceding the table. Authors should be judicious in deciding on the number of decimals used in table entries.

Failure to comply with these requirements may delay the peer review process.


The journal recognizes the usefulness of color usage and can publish manuscripts containing color figures or illustrations. Color may be included in the online version of the journal free of charge. Regarding the printed journal, this facility is free of charge to authors if the use of color is considered by the co-editors to be necessary in adding substantial scientific clarification and impact to the paper. Because of cost considerations it is uncommon that the co-editors would allow color figures free of charge and all effort should be made so that figures would be legible and clear if produced in black and white for the print version. In other cases, there is a charge for publishing in color (US$600 per color figure) and authors will be asked to bear the cost for publishing these figures. If there is a charge, orders from the UK will be subject to the current UK VAT charge. For orders from elsewhere in the EU, you or your institution should account for VAT by way of a reverse charge. Please provide us with your or your institution’s VAT number.

Copyright and Offprints

It is a condition of publication in the journal that authors grant an exclusive license to Oxford University Press. This ensures that requests from third parties to reproduce articles are handled efficiently and consistently and will also allow the article to be as widely disseminated as possible. As part of the license agreement, authors may use their own material in other publications provided that the journal is acknowledged as the original place of publication, and Oxford University Press is notified in writing and in advance.

Upon receipt of accepted manuscripts at Oxford Journals authors will be invited to complete an online copyright licence to publish form.

Please note that by submitting an article for publication you confirm that you are the corresponding/submitting author and that Oxford University Press ("OUP") may retain your email address for the purpose of communicating with you about the article. You agree to notify OUP immediately if your details change. If your article is accepted for publication OUP will contact you using the email address you have used in the registration process. Please note that OUP does not retain copies of rejected articles.

Authors of papers published in the journal will be entitled to a URL which will allow free online access to their paper. This URL will be sent to the corresponding author and may be distributed to all coauthors. Offprints and copies of the issue in which the article appears may be purchased if ordered on the Oxford Journals Author Services site.

Permissions for Illustrations and Figures

Permission to reproduce copyright material, for print and online publication in perpetuity, must be cleared and if necessary paid for by the author; this includes applications and payments to DACS, ARS, and similar licensing agencies where appropriate. Evidence in writing that such permissions have been secured from the rights-holder must be made available to the editors. It is also the author's responsibility to include acknowledgements as stipulated by the particular institutions. Oxford Journals can offer information and documentation to assist authors in securing print and online permissions: please see the Guidelines for Authors section. Information on permissions contacts for a number of main galleries and museums can also be provided. Should you require copies of this, please contact the editorial office of the journal in question or the Oxford Journals Rights department.

Third-Party Content in Open Access papers

If you will be publishing your paper under an Open Access licence but it contains material for which you do not have Open Access re-use permissions, please state this clearly by supplying the following credit line alongside the material:

Title of content
Author, Original publication, year of original publication, by permission of [rights holder]

This image/content is not covered by the terms of the Creative Commons licence of this publication. For permission to reuse, please contact the rights holder.

Crossref Funding Data Registry

In order to meet your funding requirements authors are required to name their funding sources, or state if there are none, during the submission process. For further information on this process or to find out more about the CHORUS initiative please click here.

Details of all funding sources for the work in question should be given in a separate section entitled 'Funding'. This should appear before the 'Acknowledgements' section.

The following rules should be followed:

  • The sentence should begin: ‘This work was supported by …’
  • The full official funding agency name should be given, i.e. ‘National Institutes of Health’, not ‘NIH’ (full RIN-approved list of UK funding agencies) Grant numbers should be given in brackets as follows: ‘[grant number xxxx]’
  • Multiple grant numbers should be separated by a comma as follows: ‘[grant numbers xxxx, yyyy]’
  • Agencies should be separated by a semi-colon (plus ‘and’ before the last funding agency)
  • Where individuals need to be specified for certain sources of funding the following text should be added after the relevant agency or grant number 'to [author initials]'.

An example is given here: ‘This work was supported by the National Institutes of Health [AA123456 to C.S., BB765432 to M.H.]; and the Alcohol & Education Research Council [hfygr667789].’

Oxford Journals will deposit all NIH-funded articles in PubMed Central. See http://www.oxfordjournals.org/for_authors/repositories.html for details. Authors must ensure that manuscripts are clearly indicated as NIH-funded using the guidelines above.

Advance Access

Biostatistics offers Advance Access online publication of articles with subscription-based access. Advance Access provides early official publication dates of accepted papers. See the Advance Access information page.

Author Self-Archiving/Public Access Policy from May 2005

For information about this journal's policy, please visit our Author Self-Archiving Policy page.

Language Editing

For information about this journal's policy, please visit our Author Self-Archiving Policy page.


Biostatistics authors have the option to publish their paper under the Oxford Open initiative; whereby, for a charge, their paper will be made freely available online immediately upon publication. After your manuscript is accepted the corresponding author will be required to accept a mandatory licence to publish agreement. As part of the licensing process you will be asked to indicate whether or not you wish to pay for open access. If you do not select the open access option, your paper will be published with standard subscription-based access and you will not be charged.

Oxford Open articles are published under Creative Commons licences. Authors publishing in Biostatistics can use the following Creative Commons licence for their articles:
• Creative Commons Attribution licence (CC BY)

Please click here for more information about the Creative Commons licences.

You can pay Open Access charges using our Author Services site. This will enable you to pay online with a credit/debit card, or request an invoice by email or post. The open access charges applicable are:

Regular charge - £1000 / $1600 / €1300

Reduced Rate Developing country charge* - £500 / $800 / €650

Free Developing country charge* - £0 /$0 / €0
*Visit our Developing Countries page for a list of qualifying countries

Please note that these charges are in addition to any colour/page charges that may apply.

Orders from the UK will be subject to the current UK VAT charge. For orders from the rest of the European Union, OUP will assume that the service is provided for business purposes. Please provide a VAT number for yourself or your institution, and ensure you account for your own local VAT correctly.

Please see these guidelines for reuse of Oxford Open content.

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