How is The Methodology Center different from a statistics department?
We are different from most statistics departments in several ways.
First, we are interdisciplinary. Statistics has an important presence in the Center, but there are other disciplines, too, such as applied mathematics, biostatistics, communication, computing science, education, epidemiology, human development, and psychology. If you look at our people and news, you will see that there is a great deal of cross-disciplinary collaboration. We meet nearly 30 times per year to discuss research, so even scientists who are not directly collaborating influence each other’s work.
Second, our methodological work is always responsive to and directly informed by methodological problems faced by social, behavioral, and health scientists. We frequently collaborate with these scientists on methodological and substantive research. Note that this applies even to more theoretical work done by Center scientists.
Third, we focus on methodology for applications in the social, behavioral, and health sciences. In most Statistics departments, other application areas are represented, such as environmental, spatial, and engineering statistics. We frequently borrow from these other areas within statistics but we do not work on applications for these domains.
Fourth, although we publish in Statistics journals such as the Journal of the American Statistical Association and Annals of Statistics, we also publish our work in methodological journals aimed at social, behavioral, and health sciences audiences (e.g., Psyhological Methods and Statistics in Medicine) and in more content-oriented journals (e.g., Prevention Science, Drug and Alcohol Dependence, and AIDS Care).