Intended for healthcare professionals


Encyclopedia of Biostatistics

BMJ 1999; 318 doi: (Published 20 February 1999) Cite this as: BMJ 1999;318:542
  1. C R Palmer, medical statistician
  1. Centre for Applied Medical Statistics, Department of Community Medicine, University of Cambridge, Institute of Public Health, Cambridge

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    Eds P Armitage, T Colton

    John Wiley and Sons, £1495, pp 4898 (6 volumes)

    ISBN 0 471 97576 1

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    Just amazing: how did they do it? Given that the task of organising academics has been likened to herding cats, how could anyone persuade so many to write so much, in such depth, and in so short a time? This was my initial impression of this monumental undertaking, a veritable tour de forcecomprising over 1200 articles written by more than 800 contributors worldwide from academia, government, and industry and supervised by about 20 section editors. All this initiated in 1995 and yet published within three years.

    Editors in chief Peter Armitage and Ted Colton are characteristically modest in their preface, giving due credit to those who made the endeavour possible, notably the editorial board, authors, and the project motivator from Wiley, Helen Ramsey. Other factors, besides countless hours of labour, are professional respect for the editors and, ultimately, the nature of biostatisticians. As a breed, they tend to be obliging folk, only too happy …

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