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Biostatistics and Health Data Science Core Policies


Data are kept completely confidential and secure as per HIPAA guidelines. The department also adheres to all IU HIPAA policies and procedures. All critical data, including PHI, are stored securely on file and database servers as described in the Biostatistics Data Storage Environment System Security Plan using the NIST 800-53 framework. This document is available upon request. Additionally, data and analyses results are never discussed with anyone not associated with the project.


Conflict resolution

Complaints about specific individuals should be brought to the attention of the individual’s supervisor. If the supervisor is not known to the complainant, or the complainant prefers, complaints can be brought directly to the core director. General complaints about the core should be taken directly to the core director. The supervisor and/or core director (with potential guidance from the department chair) will identify possible solutions and discuss with the complainant, preferably in person or by phone or videoconference, with a follow-up email/electronic confirmation. If a solution cannot be agreed upon, the complaint will be brought to the attention of the advisory committee electronically for their advice and guidance.


Cost Recovery/Payment Policies

The core (and the Biostatistics and Health Data Science Department as a whole) operates as a cost center. Fee-for service hourly rates are set under these accounting principles and the rates/calculations are approved by appropriate authorities in Bloomington annually. Internal billing documents are processed in the financial system around the 7th of every month. External invoices are sent every month with a Net30 payment requested.


Prioritization of work

Projects are prioritized on a first come first serve basis but rearrangement is sometimes done
based on investigator deadlines.



Biostatistics and Health Data Science Core members also play an important role in preparing study results for both presentations and papers. Concise presentations of descriptive and inferential results using graphs and tables are part of our training. After all, a graph is worth a thousand words, and a key statistic is worth at least a thousand data points. The biostatistician and/or data scientist also contributes the methods section and often is a key player in the interpretation of the results. Authorship for members of the Biostatistics and Health Data Science team should be based on the accepted criteria of the journal where the work is being submitted, otherwise the authorship guidelines of the International Committee of Medical Journal Editors are expected to be followed. Authorship criteria generally cite both study design and statistical analysis as intellectual input sufficient for authorship. Monetary support, either as salary support on grants or reimbursement for time, does not preclude or replace authorship.