ISSN 1069-1898

Volume 22 (2014)

Archive (1993-2013)


Interactive Computing Archive

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Guidelines for Authors

Guidelines for Data Contributors

Guidelines for Readers/Data Users

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An International Journal on the Teaching and Learning of Statistics

Guidelines for JSE Data Contributors


The "Datasets and Stories" department of the Journal of Statistics Education provides a peer-reviewed repository of interesting datasets combined with annotations that describe how they can be used effectively in teaching statistics.

Guidelines for Submissions (updated January, 2014)

Submissions must include a 'flat' ASCII text file or comma separated value (CSV) file containing the data, along with an ASCII 'documentation' file which provides a codebook and descriptions of the variables. The 'documentation' file provides details of the format of the text file, such as variable names and units of measurement. The 'doc' file also includes "sufficient narrative to put the data in context, and suggest some interesting questions to pursue." A template codebook can be found here.

A 'dataset and story' submission includes the data file and the 'documentation' file as described under the 'dataset' submission, as well as a significant expansion of the narrative that is found in the 'doc' file. This expansion is a submission to JSE, and should follow the general guidelines for any JSE article. It will be subject to a similar peer-review process. Examples of published stories include Gibbs and Goosens, 2013 and Dunn, 2013.

Authors are encouraged to emphasize the "story" aspect of this section by elaborating on the circumstances and questions which led to the collection of the data. We also encourage descriptions of creative ways the data might be used in teaching statistics, particularly those that are based on actual experiences."

These "teaching notes" help the reader see how the dataset can be used. We strongly encourage that authors include "teaching notes" that walk the reader through how to use the dataset (or simulation/program; see below) in the classroom. These notes could include recommendations such as Helpful Hints, Potential Pitfalls, and Alternative Applications from the author's use of the data (or simulation/program) in their teaching. These teaching notes should be incorporated throughout the paper at the place where the instructor would apply them, and should be indented and italicized. Example teaching notes are:

Helpful Hint: I have found that the best way to utilize the applet is to first have the students perform a small-scale tactile simulation of the activity using playing cards.

Potential Pitfall: When you do this you might find that students tend to confuse the standard deviation of the sample data with the standard deviation of the sampling distribution of the sample mean.

Alternative Application: Although I have used the prices of used sedans for my activity, you could substitute the prices of used cross-over/utility-vehicles.

In addition to standard submissions, other formats for data are acceptable, including non-static datasets (which regularly change), simulations (see Albert, 2010), or very large datasets. The use of "teaching notes" to annotate and provide commentary is encouraged.

Authors are encouraged to provide program code, ideally in a reproducible analysis format (such as knitr or Markdown) which can allow instructors to replicate analyses. This will help to make the dataset accessible to a larger audience. Program code or reproducible analysis files should be included with the submission wherever possible, and described in an appendix to the paper.

Any applets or other interactive computing features referenced in submissions should be readily available online. A link should be included to the interactive computing feature with illustration (perhaps through screen captures) of the computing feature in use.

Finally, the article should follow the JSE Guidelines for Authors. Dataset articles are refereed by the "Datasets and Stories" Editor and by peer reviewers. Before submitting a dataset article, please consult dataset articles in recent issues of JSE for format.

JSE Copyright and Usage Policy

Unlike other American Statistical Association journals, the Journal of Statistics Education (JSE) does not require authors to transfer copyright for the published material to JSE. Please click on the Guidelines for Readers/Data Users link in the menu bar at the left to access the policy.  

Department Editor

New submissions of articles for the "Datasets and Stories" department, and questions or suggestions may be directed to the Datasets and Stories department editor:

Nicholas Horton
Department of Mathematics and Statistics
Amherst College
Amherst, Massachusetts


Lock, R. H., and Arnold, T. (1993), "Datasets and Stories: Introduction and Guidelines," Journal of Statistics Education [Online], 1(1). (

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