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Consulting for research projects and publications

Please read the preliminary information "Statistical Consulting" first.

The Institute of Medical Statistics and Bioinformatics (IMSB) is committed to good scientific practice. Please note:

  • "Quick consultations" in the sense of an emergency room - especially telephone consultations - are not provided. Well-founded advice is not possible without exact knowledge of the experimental design and the data structure.
  • The correct documentation and accuracy of the data supplied to us is an indispensable prerequisite for a valid analysis. Therefore, we do not process inadequately documented or erroneous data.

Procedure for project and publication consulting

  1. Registration in the secretariat
  2. Checking of documents for completeness
  3. Assignment of a contact person based accordling to capacity at IMSB
  4. Consultation


Please register for consulting in person or by e-mail in the secretariat of the institute or via imsb contact. Please submit the following documents as far as appropriate for your project (see below). Doctoral candidates who are also looking for a publication of their results, please register as described under Advice on the doctoral thesis.
Note: Please also note the privacy policy.
Our information obligations according to Art. 13 DS-GVO can be found here.

Checking your documents for completeness

We check whether according to the requirements of your project all documents for an effective consultation are available. If necessary, you will need to submit further documentation.

Please note that missing or insufficient documention or unsuitable data can lead to considerable delays in the processing of your project.

Contact person

For your project a contact person will be specified, depending on the capacities of the IMSB and the individual staff members. Your contact person will make an appointment with you and take over the statistical consulting.

In individual cases, it may be necessary to wait, in which case you will receive a notification.


The consultation includes biometric aspects of study planning and implementation, e.g.:

  • Planning (e.g. hypotheses, analysis models, selection of target criteria, time points for the determination of the target criteria, study design optimization)
  • Sample size calculation
  • Randomization
  • Data management (as far as biometrically relevant)
  • Suitable statistical software
  • Plausibility checks
  • Dealing with missing values
  • Statistical analysis methods
  • Graphical display options
  • Interpretation of the results
  • Statistical method section and review of study protocols and publications

Data analysis can also be done, subject to agreement.


The responsibility for the data (formal or content correctness of data, data security, data protection) remains with the project manager. In particular, we refer to the "Regulations of the University of Cologne for securing good scientific practice and dealing with scientific misconduct", the university-wide "Research Code of Conduct" and the panels on scientific integrity of the University of Cologne. In addition, the "Guidelines for Securing Good Scientific Practice" of the German Research Foundation (DFG) as well as the "Guideline on the Handling of Research Data" at the University of Cologne are explicitly mentioned.
If the Institute for Medical Statistics and Bioinformatics or an employee is mentioned in a publication, the work must be submitted to the IMSB prior to submission.
If services are provided in the context of the consultation that lead to scientific publications, it is scientifically correct, collegial behavior to credit those IMSB staff who were involved in consulting, according to their share of the work, in the list of authors or in the acknowledgment of a publication.

Additional information:

On the following website you will find guidelines for the reporting of different study types: Further useful links can be found on our page with information on the planning, implementation, evaluation and publication of studies. Please inform yourself about the relevant documents.