The aims of the Annals of Statistics

The Annals of Statistics aim to publish research papers of highest quality reflecting the many facets of contemporary statistics. Primary emphasis is placed on importance and originality, not on formalism. The journal aims to cover all areas of statistics, especially mathematical statistics and applied & interdisciplinary statistics. Of course many of the best papers will touch on more than one of these general areas, because the discipline of statistics has deep roots in mathematics, and in substantive scientific fields.

Mathematical Statistics

Mathematics provides the language in which models, the properties of statistical methods and computation algorithms are formulated. It is essential for rigor, coherence, clarity and understanding. Consequently, our policy is to continue to play a special role in presenting research at the forefront of mathematical statistics, especially theoretical advances that are likely to have a significant impact on statistical methodology, computation or understanding.

Applied and Interdisciplinary Statistics

Substantive fields are essential for continued vitality of statistics since they provide the motivation and direction for most of the future developments in statistics. We thus intend to publish papers relating to the role of statistics in interdisciplinary investigations in all fields of natural, medical, technical and social science.

The review process

In order to be acceptable for publication, papers must reach the journal’s high standards on all of the following criteria:

  1. Interest, importance and originality
  2. Quality of writing and presentation
  3. Correctness of the arguments and claims of the paper

To demonstrate the interest and importance of the paper, it is essential that at least the introduction of each paper should be accessible to a wide range of readers. It should discuss the importance of the issues addressed and give a clear, nontechnical description of the main work of the paper. In some papers it may, for example, be appropriate to present special cases or specific examples prior to general, abstract formulations, while in other papers discussion of the general scientific context of a problem might be a helpful prelude to the body of the paper. The introduction should also give a clear scholarly context for the paper in relation to the literature in the field.

In order to expedite the decision process and to lessen the burden on referees, papers that are badly written and presented will be rejected early in the process. There will normally be no category of “invited revision”. Authors are therefore urged to submit work in the form in which they would wish it to be published. The correctness of the arguments and claims of the paper are ultimately the author’s responsibility, but referees will of course check both that claims to originality are justified and that the mathematical arguments of the paper are correct. However, if the paper is not clearly written the paper will not be assessed for correctness.