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Re: st: A gentler introduction to Statalist and Seven Deadly Sins

From   Maarten buis <>
Subject   Re: st: A gentler introduction to Statalist and Seven Deadly Sins
Date   Tue, 31 Jul 2007 17:39:36 +0100 (BST)

I'd say there is only one statalist commandment: 
Put yourself in the position of someone who is trying to answer your
question and ask yourself: Is there enough information in your question
 so that someone from an entirely different discipline can answer it?

This automatically includes many common mistakes:
o incomplete references
o not telling where a non-official Stata command came from
o not telling the exact command typed
o not telling the error message
o not telling how the result you got deviated from what you expected


--- roy wada <> wrote:

> There have been many repeat postings chastising alleged violators
> of some standards for Statalist and asking them to read FAQ prior
> to posting to Statalist. I have to say I haven't completely read FAQ,
> either.
> The author of FAQ took pains writing it, and we are better off
> for having it. Having said that, it is too long to be paid attention
> to.
> A frequently cited passage about the need for complete citation,
> "Please do not assume that the literature familiar to you is familiar
> to
> all..." is buried somewhere in FAQ. I knew I would find it there,
> but I don't think I have ever seen it before.
> The most pertinent advice about the standards and protocols for
> posting to Statalist are buried in the middle of FAQ, where it will
> not be found by the newest members of Statalist.
> Yes, it would be nice if everyone actually read FAQ, but it would be
> an entrapment to think that they actually would. Think footnotes in
> a legal document. Some people are getting caught by them.
> If there are such things as Seven Deadly Sins that should be avoided
> when posting to Statalist, then perhaps they could be made available
> at the top of FAQ. They might be specified in the confirmation email
> from the majordomo upon subscribing to Statalist.
> By making a short list available, think of it as moving away from 
> Hammurabi's
> Code, which was publicized in its time but too complicated to be
> easily
> understood, to something more manageable like Ten Commandments.
> Ten is good. Seven is better. 282 is too many. A checklist should be
> short.
> Any potential list of seven deadly sins PROBABLY should include
> something
> about incomplete literature citation. I would also include something
> about
> incomplete descritions of a Stata command, but that would be my
> personal
> perference.
> Roy
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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

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