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st: Repeated posts


From   Nick Cox <n.j.cox@durham.ac.uk>
To   "'statalist@hsphsun2.harvard.edu'" <statalist@hsphsun2.harvard.edu>
Subject   st: Repeated posts
Date   Fri, 2 Mar 2012 17:16:19 +0000

We have a policy on repeated posts. Some members: Please do note and respect it.

Here is the executive summary: 

1. Three posts of (essentially) the same question and you are out [of order]. 

2. Don't just repost: rephrase a post that got no useful replies. 

3. No one promises an answer on Statalist. Sorry if it didn't work out for you. 

Below my signature is the policy again from the FAQ. 

Nick 
n.j.cox@durham.ac.uk

Sometimes, a posting gets no reply. It is possible that your posting got overlooked, but this is much less likely than you might like to think. 

If you get no answer, you might be tempted to repost the question, but please think twice before you do that. The same post reappearing repeatedly strikes many Statalist members as impatient and inconsiderate. You had your chance, but no one wanted to answer the question. Sorry! 

If your posting gets no reply, it may be the fault of the question, of the questioner, or of those who read the question. Who knows for sure? However, it is most likely to be for one or more of the following reasons: 

No one knows of any such Stata program. You need to write your own code or use some other software. 

Your question really should be answered by using the manual or the online help, or by typing findit in an up-to-date Stata, but no one felt blunt enough to point that out. 

We do not have the knowledge of your project needed to work out the best thing to do in your circumstances, and in any case it is really your call. 

Whether what you are doing is "correct" is very difficult to discuss helpfully. 

You did not provide enough information. For example, postings of the form "I tried using -foobar-, but it did not work" are usually impossible to answer, except by asking for more information. 

Your question is too unclear or too complicated to understand. For example, very complicated data-management tasks or large chunks of code that are not working are usually too much like hard work to understand, even for Stata experts. 

It is possible that you may benefit from trying to make your problem much clearer or simpler. Remember that a very long posting with a mass of detailed explanation is just as offputting as a question that is cryptically brief. The best advice is to rewrite the question so that the key issue is made as clear as possible but also is stated as briefly as possible. 

But in all circumstances, there is a simple rule of thumb: A rewrite or even one repost of the original is tolerable, but more than one repost is not. If after two attempts you have not received an answer, there is too slim a chance that you will get an answer on Statalist. 




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