Infobox Journal
discipline = Statistics
website =
link1 =
link1-name = Content archive
publisher = Biometrika Trust
Oxford University Press
country = United Kingdom
history = 1901 to present
impact = 1.156
impact-year = 2007
ISSN = 0006-3444
eISSN = 1464-3510

"Biometrika" is a scientific journal principally covering theoretical statistics.


Biometrika was established in 1901 by Francis Galton, Karl Pearson and W. F. R. Weldon to promote the study of biometrics, the statistical analysis of hereditary phenomena; the name was chosen by Pearson, although Edgeworth insisted that it be spelt with a k and not a c. Since the 1930s however it has been a journal for statistical theory and methodology. Galton's role in the journal was essentially that of a patron and the journal was run by Pearson and Weldon and after Weldon's death in 1906 by Pearson alone until he died in 1936. In the early days the American biologists C. B. Davenport and Raymond Pearl were nominally involved but they dropped out. On Pearson's death his son Egon Pearson became editor and remained in this position until 1966. David Cox was editor for the next 25 years. In its first 65 years "Biometrika" had essentially two editors and in its first 90 years only three.Fact|date=September 2007

"Biometrika" begins with a clear statement of purpose:

:"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."Fact|date=September 2007

Its contents were to include::(a) memoirs on variation, inheritance, and selection in animals and plants, based upon the examination of statistically large numbers of specimens ...; :(b) those developments of statistical theory which are applicable to biological problems;:(c) numerical tables and graphical solutions tending to reduce the labour of statistical arithmetic;:(d) abstracts of memoirs, dealing with these subjects, which are published elsewhere; and:(e) notes on current biometric work and unsolved problems.

Early volumes contained many memoirs on biological topics, but over the twentieth century "Biometrika" became a "journal of statistics in which emphasis is placed on papers containing original theoretical contributions of direct or potential value in applications." Thus, of the five types of contents envisaged by its founders, only (b) and to a lesser extent (c) remain, largely shorn of their biological roots. In his centenary tribute to Karl Pearson J. B. S. Haldane likened him to Columbus who "set out for China, and discovered America." (Karl Pearson, 1857-1957, Biometrika, 44, (1957), p. 303.) The same might be said of Pearson's journal.

Historical Reference

To mark the centenary of "one of the world's leading academic journals in statistical theory and methodology" a commemorative volume was produced
* Biometrika One Hundred Years, edited D.M. Titterington and Sir David Cox, [ Oxford University Press] 2001. ISBN 0-19-850993-6.Part 1 consists of articles that had appeared in a special issue of the journal and Part 2 of a selection of classic papers published in the journal from the years 1939-71.
* David Cox, " [ Biometrika Centenary] ," "Bernoulli News" (Newsletter of the Bernoulli Society for Mathematical Statistics and Probability), Vol.8, No.1, May 2001.

Notable contributors to Biometrika

* E.C. Rhodes

External links

* [ "Biometrika"]
** JSTOR|no=00063444|name=Biometrika

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