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Re: st: RE: RE: Stata Wish List

From   Richard Williams <>
Subject   Re: st: RE: RE: Stata Wish List
Date   Thu, 21 Oct 2004 09:42:09 -0500

At 02:52 PM 10/21/2004 +0100, Nick Cox wrote:
I'd turn the discussion about output aesthetics
around. I'm interested in learning if anyone
thought that anyone else was claiming that
statistical program output _was_ typically
suitable for straight reproduction in reports.
First off, while I cut and paste output from SPSS and Stata all the time into my class handouts (partly to show how to interpret them), I never do such a cut and paste for my own research papers. Students sometimes do such cut and pastes for their own papers, and I point out to them the deficiencies of doing so.

Having said that, I strongly suspect that lots of people somewhere are doing cut and pastes of SPSS output into reports. I just checked, and SPSS provides more than 50 style options for the formatting and layout of tables. And, you can do stuff like edit the tables, change the # of decimal places displayed, delete stuff you don't want, change the fonts, create your own styles, choose a different style for a table you've already created, etc; i.e. it lets you address most of the issues that Nick raises as limitations of statistical output. I don't think it would provide all these options unless it thought there was a market for them.

As a sidelight, you have to look really really hard on the SPSS web site to find that SPSS originally stood for "Statistical Package for the Social Sciences." I don't think they want their current business users to know that! I bet social scientists are a pretty small part of their revenue stream now.

Richard Williams, Notre Dame Dept of Sociology
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