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st: RE: RE: Stata formulas


From   "Maarten Buis" <M.Buis@fsw.vu.nl>
To   <statalist@hsphsun2.harvard.edu>
Subject   st: RE: RE: Stata formulas
Date   Wed, 28 Feb 2007 11:29:00 +0100

--- Newson, Roger B wrote:
> These hardcopy manuals are mentioned in the online help, are
> advertised at
> http://www.stata.com/bookstore/documentation.html
> and are probably a worthwhile investment if Ana does not have any at
> present.

These are indeed very very useful, and no serious Stata user can do 
without them. However they are expensive and not everyone in your 
department may need his own copy. The trick is to convince your 
department that the department needs a full doc-set and that the 
logical place to store them is your office since you use it the most 
and since you are the resident Stata guru. That scam worked for me. 
But seriously, it is a good idea to share the use and the costs of a 
full doc-set with others.

If you are sharing with people who are just a bit too far away you 
can use an older manual. For instance my department is split over two 
floors, and the Stata 8 manual is located on the other floor. This will 
answer 90% of their questions. At home I even have a Stata 6 manual, 
but that is getting annoyingly old.

> I think they prefer not to have them on their website in .pdf
> format because they make a lot of their money selling the hardcopy
> manuals to serious users who want to read the formulas and other
> important details. 

This also represents a major investment by StataCorp. Consider the 
free competitor of Stata, R. The documentation is as sparse and often 
sparser then the online help files of Stata. There are lots of free 
getting started texts out there for R, as there are for Stata (e.g. 
http://www.ats.ucla.edu/stat/stata/ ), but beyond that you will have 
to hope that the author of the program you are interested in has 
written a book accompanying the package and buy it. Programming is 
just much more fun then writing documentation.

Maarten

-----------------------------------------
Maarten L. Buis
Department of Social Research Methodology 
Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam 
Boelelaan 1081 
1081 HV Amsterdam 
The Netherlands

visiting address:
Buitenveldertselaan 3 (Metropolitan), room Z434 

+31 20 5986715

http://home.fsw.vu.nl/m.buis/
-----------------------------------------



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