Observational Studies September 2023 Volume 9.4

Current Issue

September 2023 Volume 9.4

The latest issue is now available on Project MUSE. Vol. 9.4

About Observational Studies

Observational Studies is a peer-reviewed journal that publishes manuscripts on all aspects of observational studies, including, but not limited to, study protocols for observational studies, methodologies for observational studies, descriptions of data sets for observational studies, software for observational studies and analyses of observational studies. For further details, see the journal's aims and scope.

This special issue of Observational Studies features manuscripts from six teams that competed in the American Causal Inference Conference (ACIC) Data Challenge in 2022. The competition, hosted by ACIC since 2016, provides simulated datasets based on real world data from a wide range of domains including public health, economics, and education. The competition challenges data science teams to estimate relevant causal effects based on state-of-the-art causal inference methods. The datasets for the 2022 challenge mirrored data from evaluations of large-scale U.S. health care system interventions that aim to lower Medicare expenditures.

To celebrate its 40th anniversary, the Observational Studies Executive Board has chosen Paul Rosenbaum and Donald Rubin’s highly influential and elegant paper “The Central Role of the Propensity Score in Observational Studies for Causal Effects” published in Biometrika in 1983 to continue our annual tradition of inviting commentaries on a seminal paper that has had a unique impact on the design, analysis, and interpretation of observational studies. We are delighted to include in this special issue all commentaries that were submitted. Forty years after its publication, Rosenbaum and Rubin’s seminal paper continues to provide deep insights, seed the development of new causal inference methods, and provide applied researchers important tools for data analysis.

Read the issue here.


Project MUSE is now hosting the Commentaries on Leo Breiman’s paper “Statistical Modeling: The Two Cultures” (Statistical Science, 2001, 16(3), 199-231) as a Special Issue of Observational Studies.  Read the Commentaries here.


Observational Studies is now accepting submissions. See Author Guidelines for more information or email the editors at obsjournal@pennmedicine.upenn.edu. All manuscripts should be submitted via the Scholastica online submission system. Click here for descriptions of the types of articles we publsh.

To submit an article for consideration in an upcoming issue please click the blue button. 



Do authors retain copyright? 

The author gets to choose whether they retain the copyright. We do not automatically copyright in the name of Penn Press.
Do authors retain the right to use their own paper commercially?
They do not; they can only reuse their work in cases where the same (non-commercial) license is used as the OBS publication:
From the author agreement:
Upon publication of your contribution in the Journal,Observational Studies grants you an irrevocable, nonexclusive, royalty-free license to use your contribution in any book volume consisting wholly of your own work,provided that each such use shall carry the copyright notice specified to you in writing by Observational Studies.


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Phone: 215-898-6261
Fax: 215-746-3636

Online Access

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