I have been running Research Engineer for close to a year now and have made some money. However, I'm still very much in the red, the learning curve is still very wide, and I'm still working hard every day to make the website better. I have put the integrity and functionality of my website ahead of making money as a tech start-up. With that being said, I offer my services as a statistical consultant at a highly competitive price and have several calculators, databases, and templates available for download. Thank you for using Research Engineer!
Support your local statistician!
Seek out methodological and statistical consultation
If you have access to a statistical consultants or statisticians within your empirical or clinical environment, seek out their services in the preliminary phases of planning your study. Here is a list of things that I do for residents, fellows, faculty, physicians, pharmacists, nurses, and staff at an academic regional medical campus:
1. Sample Size - I conduct sample size calculations for at least of 80-85% of my first-time clients. They often want to know how many people they need to reach a significant p-value. We work through the process of acquiring an evidence-based measure of effect that reflects what their research question is trying to answer.
It feels good knowing that you have a good chance of detecting significance with a small sample size. Also, it is good to find out that you have to collect A LOT more observations than you thought you would. Post hoc power analyses should be run for any non-significant main effects that may be considered Type II errors (limited or small sample sizes).
2. Statistical analysis - Real biostatistical scientists and statisticians will conduct your statistical analyses in an objective and expeditious manner to help you answer your research questions. Please help them understand what your research question is and what research design you want to use to answer it to the best of your abilities. They will be able to help you choose the correct statistic given that you can tell them the scale of measurement for your primary outcome and what type of design (between-subjects, within-subjects, correlational, mixed, or multivariate) you want to use to answer your question. It is also important to know WHO or WHAT you want to include in your sample in terms of inclusion and exclusion criteria. Finally, know your content area. We may not know your knowledge/philosophical base and need to understand the entire picture, as much as you can tell us.
3. Database management - Go ahead and let us build your database in a basic Excel spreadsheet and send an accompanying code book in Word so that we are all on the same page. It helps us all know what is going on, what variables are being collected, what they mean, how they are measured, and how the analysis will work. Share it with all members of the research team. Use the code book when entering your data. Tell the rest of us if you make changes to the code book or database. These simple tasks and communicative efforts can mean the difference between your statistics being run in five minutes versus five weeks. SERIOUSLY.
4. Write-up of findings for publication - We will give you an annotated write-up of your findings with statistical outputs and give you basic and unbiased interpretations of the statistical results of your study. We can help you write up the statistical methods and results sections of your abstracts and manuscripts. We can even help you design tables and graphs that will make your study findings more aesthetically and visually appealing to your audience.
When it comes to authorship, if you feel that your statistical professional's contribution to the design, execution, and interpretation of your study warrants authorship, offer it to them. They will greatly appreciate it! However, YOU SHOULD NEVER BE REQUIRED TO GIVE US AUTHORSHIP JUST BECAUSE WE RAN YOUR STATISTICS FOR YOU. IT IS UNETHICAL FOR US TO REQUIRE AUTHORSHIP FOR DOING OUR JOB. THAT IS, IF OUR JOB IS TO RUN STATISTICS IN YOUR EMPIRICAL OR CLINICAL ENVIRONMENT.
Eric Heidel, Ph.D. is Owner and Operator of Scalë, LLC.