Is Dissertation Statistics Consulting Ethical?

When I am asked this question, I like to respond with the following analogy. Surgeons do not usually perform their own anesthesia, because anesthesia is a highly technical and specialized field, and the surgeon would prefer to leave that to an expert. By analogy, most researchers do not perform their own statistical analyses, because statistics is a highly technical and specialized field, and they would prefer to leave the statistics to an expert. So, if writing a dissertation is about learning how to do research, then by working with a statistician, you are gaining real-world experience in how to do research.

Another reason dissertation statistical consulting is ethical is, the statistical consultation can be an educational process for the doctoral student. That is, assuming you hire a qualified statistician that offers quality services (see my post on finding a qualified statistician). When I consult with a doctoral student, I offer unlimited email and phone support to ensure that my client fully understands their statistics. I consistently receive compliments for my ability to explain complex information in a way that is easy to understand. I have had several clients tell me that they learned more about statistics after talking to me for 15 minutes than they have learned in all of their statistics classes and text books put together. So, rather than the statistician doing all the work for the doctoral student, to the contrary, the dissertation statistics consult is a collaborative process in which the student learns about statistics.

Additionally, one other fact that shows statistical consulting is ethical is, many of my clients tell me their mentor suggested they hire a statistician. Also, I know of at least one university that posts links to dissertation APA editors and statisticians on their website. You can see that page here.

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2 comments on “Is Dissertation Statistics Consulting Ethical?
  1. Early on in my doctoral journey, I struggled with the statistical portion of my dissertation. After I made several attempts at addressing the reviewer’s comments, she suggested I get help from a professional statistician. I spoke to several different statisticians and was feeling frustrated when I contacted Steve. I instantly felt comfortable with Steve and his calm demeanor. His knowledge and expertise with statistics was exactly what I needed. With Steve’s help, I finally got my dissertation back on track, completed it and successfully defended in June. I cannot say enough about Steve. He definitely stands by you until the end. Obtaining his help was the turning point in my journey as was pointed out by the school reviewer. I HIGHLY recommend Steve for statistical help. He is the best!

  2. Want one of the best statistical mentors available? Do you want to be able to defend your research and statistics indisputably? Want some one who is highly ethical beyond reproach? These were the three questions I asked myself when I was thinking about consulting with a statistician during my doctoral research. I have had nearly a dozen graduate level research courses while earning 3 graduate degrees. I am pretty good with SPSS and think I have a very good understanding of research methods and measurements. Still, I am not an expert statistician; most academicians are not, unless of course you are earning an advanced degree in statistics! When it came to the culmination and pinnacle of my graduate work; the doctoral dissertation, I wanted a true expert to make sure that the research I was going to launch would bring the statistical measurements needed and thereby avoid wasting time because of things I might not have been able to foresee. I also wanted the opinion of an expert that the approach I was taking would provide meaningful results and unquestionable statistical accuracy. Steve Creech is not only an expert statistician, but a teacher. The availability he provides his students/clients is just astounding.

    I interviewed several statisticians over a couple of months before I selected Steve. The kindness and concern he communicates to his clients is beyond comparison. Finally, if you are concerned about ethics, you can feel assured that Steve Creech will not breech ethical standards- he really understands your investment in earning your degree and establishing your unique and personal research. I certainly would not have jeopardized my years of study and research and the culmination to my doctoral investigation by working with just anyone and it is why I sought out a person with high standards and who held their own accomplished record of peer-reviewed published research. I always sensed that Steve really cared about supporting me in my original research. He was able to teach me how to select the best tests that would accurately answer my research questions/hypotheses for the purposes of my study. As an accomplished researcher, (check out his credentials and research and publishing record) Steve also wants to thoroughly educate his clients so that they completely understand why some statistical methods will work best and which tests will best suit the study to produce the most significant results. In the end, I believe that having Steve Creech’s expert mentoring and consultation, I was able to shave off months in completing my thesis. His expertise was well worth my investment!

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