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st: To STATA experts - BOOK


From   tiago.pereira@incor.usp.br
To   statalist@hsphsun2.harvard.edu
Subject   st: To STATA experts - BOOK
Date   Thu, 13 Sep 2007 20:09:08 -0300 (BRT)

Dear all,

It is interesting how a simple commentary of a non-expert [noob] in Stata
can shed light to many topics of discussion.

I definitely do not want to come off as cocky, but, as a young scientist
(20% of my whole lifetime dedicated to a PhD) and owner of almost all
available books on Stata, I can say for sure that, in many cases, current
available books on Stata are insufficient for non-statisticians
researchers. And I can list all my arguments in private.

Please, understand "non-statisticians researchers" as professionals and
researchers without a background in Math, Statistics, Economy or Computer
Science. These researchers do not have much time to wait 24h to get an
answer to their simple {some times idiot] queries. Moreover, I cannot
spend 1h per day seeking answers and downloading materials on the
internet. I just wanna a bible "stata for dummies", where I can get an
answer to [wtf does "floating-point variable" mean?] without needing to
spend 120 hours of intro to programming.


Stata is an excellent software, but it is quite complex for
non-statistician researchers. There are a lot of issues to be taken into
account, and plenty of opportunities to make errors,get frusted and go
back to "simple-click" programs like SPSS and Statistica.

In addition, except for books written by non-native English speakers, most
Stata books are difficult to read for non-English-speakers 
non-statisticians researchers. I agree that they may be very clear to
Brits or Americans with a good Math background. But, please, wake up,
there are a lot of researchers from Medical Sciences wanting to use a more
sophisticated software, and most of them are non-native English speakers.


It is worth of mentioning that I do not want to criticize any single book.
Furthermore, I think that current available materials are excellent,
despite to the fact they use examples not strictly appropriate to
non-statisticians and fail to cover all topics we need currently,
particularly topics related to those with a background in Medicine.

All the best,

Tiago



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