The editors are pleased to welcome Paul Gustafson as EPIDEMIOLOGY’s first statistical editor. This new position requires some clarification. Journals often appoint statistical editors to vet routine statistical methods. At EPIDEMIOLOGY, our authors (and reviewers) are generally able to handle the routine methods. Two editors (Miguel Hernán and Jay Kaufman) and one active former editor (Sholom Wacholder) also bring methodologic expertise.
So why a statistical editor? Methodology has been a focus of our journal since its founding. Many of our papers with the greatest impact have been methods papers. The journal continues to attract a large number of methods papers and papers applying sophisticated methods. Paul’s role is not to assure the perfection of every method applied in our pages (who would want that job!) but to assist the editors in evaluating particularly knotty or novel methods.
For this role, Paul is extremely well suited. A Fellow of the American Statistical Association, he is known for his commitment to improving statistical practice in applied settings. His interest in Bayesian methods fills a gap in our editors’ ranks. When the editors brainstormed on possible people to invite, Paul was at the top of our list.
We are delighted that he has agreed to take on this new job. We trust that his presence will help maintain one of our core strengths, and allow the journal to do an even better job of demonstrating (in Paul’s words) how “useful information can be extracted from difficult data.”1