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Re: Re: st: combining datasets


From   Nick Cox <njcoxstata@gmail.com>
To   statalist@hsphsun2.harvard.edu
Subject   Re: Re: st: combining datasets
Date   Fri, 17 Aug 2012 13:05:00 +0100

I don't think anybody is offended; certainly not me as I answered your
question. But I think you raise two questions of principle:

1. Statalist is a discussion list and its goal is to allow discussion.
That doesn't mean that it is a help line, and there is absolutely no
mechanism to ensure that all questions are answered. (My definition of
a help line is that _somebody_ is obliged to answer.) Indeed there is
a declared bias against helping people in detail if something is
easily answerable by looking at the documentation. It's up to
individuals to make individual choices about whether they want to
answer a question, but some kinds of questions are much more likely to
be answered than others. The FAQ gives advice on this. There is even
more advice at e.g.

http://blog.stata.com/2010/12/14/how-to-successfully-ask-a-question-on-statalist/

http://www.stata.com/statalist/archive/2012-02/msg00801.html

2. The Statalist FAQ gives detailed advice on what to do if your
question is not answered and is discouraging (although not
prohibitive) about repeating questions:

http://www.stata.com/support/faqs/resources/statalist-faq/#noanswer

Recall that you were asked to read the FAQ _before_ posting.

More concretely,

a. It would have helped your question greatly if you had mentioned
what you tried, with details on what you tried. Some members of the
list have a strong bias towards deleting questions if they sense that
the poster is doing _nothing_ to help themselves.

b. It remains open to anyone to post help to you in this thread. I
don't feel guilty about not wanting to answer your question: I answer
quite a lot, and I don't enjoy -merge- questions.

Nick

On Fri, Aug 17, 2012 at 12:31 PM, Kenisha Russell
<kenisha.russell@framtidsstudier.se> wrote:
> Hi Nick,
>
> I feel that your answer to my post was quite hard, as I thought that one of the goals of the list was to help less experienced people.
> So based on this premise, I submitted my question.
>
> I have read the -help merge- , and tried different syntaxes but was unable to get my data in the format I wanted.
> I do apologise, if you think that my lack of knowledge or requesting help was offensive to those who had more important issues to resolve.
>
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