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From |
"Nick Cox" <n.j.cox@durham.ac.uk> |

To |
<statalist@hsphsun2.harvard.edu> |

Subject |
st: Stata questions and statistical questions |

Date |
Wed, 7 Sep 2005 15:33:29 +0100 |

I quote from the FAQ: ===== begin extract 0.1 What is Statalist for? The appropriate subjects for discussion on Statalist are Stata statistics Postings on anything to do with Stata are welcome, such as how to do something in Stata difficulties in using and understanding Stata apparent bugs or limitations in Stata areas for future additions to or improvements to Stata neat tricks in Stata that others may appreciate new Stata ado-files announcement of Stata-related meetings or material. Once a statistical topic is mentioned, comments on the statistical or scientific merits and demerits of different approaches are legitimate. Statalisters want to use Stata to do good statistical science, and many members value Statalist for the broader material it includes. While you should refrain from asking questions that have absolutely no Stata content or implications, statistical questions concerning interpretation, applicability, and the like, are acceptable and even encouraged. ===== end extract In recent weeks, there seems to be have been an upward drift in the fraction of questions that are totally statistical, including the two main forms (a) how should I analyse something? (b) is this kind of analysis correct? In many cases, the posters appear to be relatively new to Statalist. I suggest strongly that while a mix of Stata and statistical issues is often both natural and fascinating, we should resist any morphing of Statalist into a list that takes a large fraction of purely statistical questions with no Stata content. Not only is the amount of traffic on Statalist quite large enough for most tastes, other lists exist for these purposes. In practice, experienced Statalisters often ignore questions of types (a) and (b), especially if they get the impression that the poster needs to exert a little more self-help. This posting therefore is a personal plea * to those experienced listers to hold the line _whenever_ the most appropriate answer is probably "for goodness' sake, do some reading, or get some guidance from people locally who know more than you do". (If the question is more advanced, it is often very interesting, but that's very different!) * to newer list members to note that, in essence, Statalist is about the statistical software Stata and not a hold-your-hand list for basic statistical help. Nick n.j.cox@durham.ac.uk * * For searches and help try: * http://www.stata.com/support/faqs/res/findit.html * http://www.stata.com/support/statalist/faq * http://www.ats.ucla.edu/stat/stata/

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