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RE: st: RE: RE: RE: Incomplete references are not acceptable

From   "Patrick Musonda" <>
Subject   RE: st: RE: RE: RE: Incomplete references are not acceptable
Date   Mon, 30 Jul 2007 18:22:58 +0000

Dear List,

I do not wish to perpetuate this discussion any longer, but I agree with Thomas on this issue. There particularly two individuals I won't mention their names who seem to enjoy harsher reminders to people who inadvertently not followed the so called standards. These two individuals are obviously very knowledgeable with stata and stats in general, but some of the individuals who ask questions are very new in their career and particularly new to stata. A gentle reminder would suffice, don't make such individuals feel like they are useless.

I am all for gentle reminders, no need to tell off people? It is absolutely not necessary.

ps -have to say the list is fantastic, I have got some useful help.

Best wishes,


From: "Steichen, Thomas J." <>
To: <>
Subject: st: RE: RE: RE: Incomplete references are not acceptable
Date: Mon, 30 Jul 2007 13:48:10 -0400

<Marcello, this will be last comments on this.>

Nick Cox, who I consider a friend and likewise believe
he considers me, places some arguments justifing flaming
in this instance; I disagree than flaming is ever
acceptable on Statalist!

He argue that because others have "drawn attention" to
"abuses" of the list, flaming is justified; I disagree
and see no merit in this argument.

He argues that the existence of "harsher" lists justifies
flaming; I disagee and see no merit in this argument.

He argues that private correspondence indicates that
members appreciate standards on the list; I agree and note
that resisting the urge to flame is one of the clear standards
of this list.

I cannot argue that most of us (self included) are usually
content to let Nick monitor following of standards. It is
only when I perceive that frustration in doing so causes
Nick to overstep those very standards that I comment.

He asks, "why it is unacceptable to remind people of the
rules?" My rejoinder, is that there are no rules, only
standards, on this list and abuse of standards call only
for a gentle reminder.

I'm all for maintaining the gentler, kinder list that
Statalist is; let's resist all temptation of becoming
something harsher.


Thomas J. Steichen

-----Original Message-----
From: [] On Behalf Of Nick Cox
Sent: Monday, July 30, 2007 1:25 PM
Subject: st: RE: RE: Incomplete references are not acceptable

Tom and I are in agreement on at least one key point:
Statalist members should use their personal judgement
on this issue, and indeed much else. I never meant to
suggest otherwise.

It's important, I think, that I am far from the only person who
has drawn attention from time to time to this and other
abuses. Those who think that this kind of criticism
is ungentle or impolite can readily find much harsher technical
lists if they look hard enough. Also, I know from
private correspondence and discussion that many members of
the list do appreciate that standards must be
maintained somehow and are, for a mix of fairly obvious reasons,
content that someone else does it.

New members are precisely those members who have been
asked to read the Statalist FAQ recently, when they
joined the list. If they do not do that, or it appears
that they have not done that, why it is unacceptable
to remind people of the rules, such as they are,
from time to time?


Steichen, Thomas J.

> Despite the fact that I agree that providing full references
> are in the best interests of a Statalist poster, I strongly
> disagree that such posters should be publicly denigrated on
> the list for failing to provide such. This issue has gone
> from appropriate gentle reminders to what I see as
> inappropriate flamings.
> Realistically, I think more harm will come to Statlist from a
> a continuation of flaming than if the whole issue was ignored.
> Why not let those who do not help themselves (by providing
> full references) simply be ignored? If the list has become a
> "what's in it for me?" exercize for responders, they should
> simply stop responding.
> My impression is that the recently-flamed posters are also
> recent additions to the list... Isn't it clear that flaming
> is simply not the way we should be welcoming new participants?
> I invite Statalist members to use their personal judgment
> concerning whether to refuse to answer postings with incomplete
> references and to consider leaving the list if they believe
> their personal gain (a potentially useful reference) justifies
> flaming.

n j cox

> Despite many requests and a detailed exhortation in the
> FAQ, postings with incomplete references (name(s) and date only or
> even names alone) persist. It should be self-evident that incomplete
> references are obscure to very many; only complete references are
> helpful. Also, the implication that you care only about
> people in your
> own sub-discipline who may know the answer is insensitive, if
> not mildly
> offensive.
> I invite Statalist members to refuse to answer postings with
> incomplete references and to complain personally to
> people who insist on ignoring good practice.
> People who want to participate in an alternative list based
> on different principles should feel free to set it up and
> run it their way. Otherwise, expect the disapproval of those who have
> worked hard to set high standards on this list and to
> maintain them. Statalist is free and there is no charge
> for the quick, correct and helpful answers likely if you ask
> clear questions, but there is not a free ride for people who
> won't even think carefully about their postings.

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