Guidelines for Referees
Thank you for agreeing to review this submission to The Annals of
Applied Statistics. Here are the four main questions we are trying to
(1) Does the paper genuinely concern applied statistics?
Articles should focus on specific applications or involve new
methodology that speaks directly to one or more areas of current
applied interest. Actual scientific/policy problems and relevant
data to help answer unresolved issues provide the best evidence
of serious applied interest. Papers focused primarily on extending
existing methodology, or developing new methodology without a clear
application, are not suitable for AOAS.
(2) Is the paper clearly written?
AOAS is intended for all professional statisticians, as well as for subject
area experts with an interest in specific statistical topics. Papers
should be written in an open style that emphasizes key ideas more
than technical development. The Abstract and Introduction should
be as nontechnical as possible, describing the important scientific/
policy problems to be addressed, explaining why the paper's subject
is of interest, as well as what its results are. Highly technical material,
both mathematical and computational, belongs in appendices or
online supplements. Graphs and tables should be well thought out and
(3) Is the paper correct?
Mathematical and algorithmic validity are the authors’ professional
responsibility. Referees can spot implausible claims and broad errors of
statistical or mathematical reasoning, but are not expected to perform
line-by-line checks of technical results.
(4) Is the paper interesting?
“Interesting” means interesting to you, of course, interesting because
of the application, the methodology, or ideally both. Fresh or unusual
points of view are particularly welcome at AOAS, even if they may be
It is important that you communicate clearly to the Associate Editor your recommendation, but please do not place that recommendation in your report to the authors.
Thank you again for your help, good refereeing is the key ingredient
of a successful journal.
Please submit your report within one month!
Areas of application change rapidly, and authors need
timely decisions. If you need more information from the
authors, perhaps an algorithm or a data set, let
us know right away. Suggestions for the authors should
be returned on a separate page that does not compromise
your anonymity. Please remember that it is your opinion
about the paper's basic qualities rather than an extended
technical review that is most important to us.