Visual Universitätsmedizin Mainz

Service: "Statistical Consultation"

 

Within the framework of scientific services, the department provides statistical advice for scientific works conducted at the Mainz University Medical Center. This service is open to all members of the Mainz University Medical Center and offers help in the process of the following tasks:
 

  • Study and experiment planning
  • Data collection and databases
  • Selection of adequate statistical methods
  • Statistical data analysis
  • Interpretation of study results


The phases of a consultation

The first phase of a statistical consultation is a preliminary talk in which the next course of action is determined on the basis of the question at hand. If a further consultation is necessary, the study’s research intentions are supported in the subsequent second consultation phase. After conclusion of the research goals, the IMBEI helps with the interpretation of the statistical results.

The ideal time point for a consultation

A consultation should generally be sought during the planning phase of a scientific study; indeed, this should be done ideally as soon as the background of the planned investigation can be summarised. This way, it is possible to avoid being unable to attain meaningful interpretations of the statistical analyses in terms of the originally planned study question due to methodological shortcomings in the planning and study execution, often after time-consuming and careful data collection. Therefore, the medical advisor should also be included in the first consultation discussion for doctoral thesis proposals.

The scope of a consultation

In particular for doctoral thesis works, it should be noted that this service offers assistance on determining how to do the study, and the necessary work (for example data entry, use of standard statistical software for data analysis, etc.) is to be provided by the client (“learning by doing”). The scope and intensity of a statistical consultation by IMBEI employees is determined by
 

  • the complexity of the required methods
  • the agreed upon involvement of project partnerships with clinical cooperative partners.

In accordance with correct and professional conduct, if services are provided within the framework of the consultation that lead to scientific publications, the participating IMBEI employees should be included in the author list or in the acknowledgements, as appropriate for the portion of work performed. In this case, it is necessary to discuss the work with the participating IMBEI employees before submission for publication and to keep all participants informed about the progress of the review process.
 
General Notes

“Quick consultations” in the sense of an emergency - in particular consultations over the phone - are not provided; this is because well-grounded information is not possible without exact knowledge of the experimental plan and the data structure (“no therapy without a diagnosis”).
Appointments with statistical advisors are made centrally through Ms Ilona Kerenyi (room number 10). This can be done during the regular office hours in the form of a preliminary discussion:

 

Tuesdays 2pm-3pm and Thursdays 9am-10am.

The actual consultation portion can begin when the registration form for the planned project has been filled out and submitted to the IMBEI.
The statistical consultation and the use of hardware and software already available at the IMBEI is free of charge as long as this assistance is only given for a purely scientific work.
In the event that works are carried out in connection with projects supported by third-party funds, this should be disclosed at the first consultation discussion.