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description Trade journal
Area of ​​Expertise statistics
language English
publishing company Oxford University Press ( UK )
First edition 1901
Frequency of publication quarterly
Impact Factor 1,669 (2017) [1]
Editor-in-chief Paul Fearnhead
Web link official homepage
Article archive 1901 ff.
ISSN (print)
ISSN (online)

Biometrika is a peer-reviewed scientific journal in the field of theoretical statistics .


Biometrika was founded in 1901 by Francis Galton , Karl Pearson and Walter Weldon . The name was chosen by Pearson, but Edgeworth insisted that it be spelled "k" rather than "c". The journal was initially focused on biostatistics , the statistical analysis of biological phenomena, and in the early days the biologists Charles Davenport and Raymond Pearl were also involved. In 1930 Biometrika was a journal of statistical theory and methodology.

While Galton's role in the Journal was more that of a sponsor, it was actively pursued by Pearson and Weldon. After Weldon's death in 1906, Pearson was the sole editor until his death in 1936. After his death, his son Egon Pearson became the new editor until 1966. David Cox was the editor for the next 25 years . This means that Biometrika only had three publishers in its first 65 years and only four in the first 90 years.

The first edition contained a clear goal:

It is intended that Biometrika shall serve as a means not only of collecting or publishing under one title biological data of a kind not systematically collected or published elsewhere in any other periodical, but also of spreading a knowledge of such statistical theory as may be requisite for their scientific treatment.

The journal should focus on five topics:

  • Articles on the variation , inheritance and selection in animals and plants based on the study of a large number of objects
  • Developments in statistical theory useful for the analysis of biological problems
  • numerical tables and graphics to simplify statistical calculations
  • Summaries of articles on these subject areas that have been published in other journals
  • short articles on current biometric work and unsolved problems.

While the first editions contained many articles on biological topics, the focus later shifted to statistics: "journal of statistics in which emphasis is placed on papers containing original theoretical contributions of direct or potential value in applications". Of the five themes formulated, only the second and third remained, but mostly detached from their biological roots. On Karl Pearson's centenary birthday, JBS Haldane wrote of him that he was like Columbus, who moved to China but discovered America. For the centenary of the journal, an anniversary volume was created with articles from special editions and a selection of classic articles from the years 1939–71.


Biometrika is indexed in Biological Abstracts , BIOSIS Previews , CAB Abstracts , Current Contents / Agriculture, Biology, and Environmental Sciences, Current Contents / Life Sciences, Current Contents / Physical, Chemical and Earth Sciences, Current Index to Statistics , Journal Citation Reports / Science Edition, Mathematical Reviews , ProQuest , Research Papers in Economics , Science Citation Index and Zentralblatt MATH .

Individual evidence

  1. Editorial: (I.) The Scope of Biometrika , In: Biometrika 1 (1), 1901, pp. 1–2, doi : 10.1093 / biomet / 1.1.1 JSTOR 2331667 .
  2. JBS Haldane : Karl Pearson 1857-1957 . In: Biometrika, 44 (3-4), pp. 303-313, doi : 10.1093 / biomet / 44.3-4.303 JSTOR 2332863 .
  3. ^ DM Titterington & Sir David Cox (Eds.): Biometrika One Hundred Years , Oxford University Press 2001. ISBN 0-19-850993-6 .
  4. David Cox , " Biometrika Centenary ," Bernoulli News , Vol. 8, no. 1, May 2001.

Web links