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From |
Nick Cox <njcoxstata@gmail.com> |

To |
statalist@hsphsun2.harvard.edu |

Subject |
Re: st: Statalist advice: a summary |

Date |
Fri, 8 Mar 2013 13:02:00 +0000 |

In #3 "much clear" is a typo for "much clearer". On Fri, Mar 8, 2013 at 12:08 PM, Nick Cox <njcoxstata@gmail.com> wrote: > Old hands will know that I post something like this every few months > as a reminder of some basics. It is not to be thought of as the rules. > > There is only one rule on Statalist, and it comes from the top, > Marcello Pagano. You are asked to use your full real name in posting. > We are deliberately and deliciously old-fashioned in that sense. > > Everything else is _advice_ intended in everyone's best interests. > > Nick > > In a sentence: Help us to help you, and here's how. > > Reminder: When you joined the list you were asked to read the FAQ > > <http://www.stata.com/support/faqs/resources/statalist-faq/> > > before posting, and we really did mean that. Please read the FAQ before > posting! Much of it can be skimmed or skipped on a first reading. > > For another source of advice on Statalist, see > > William Gould > <http://blog.stata.com/2010/12/14/how-to-successfully-ask-a-question-on-statalist/> > > It is important to remember that Statalist is a discussion list, not a > help line. The distinction might seem a little obscure or subtle, so > let's spell it out: > > * On a help line, someone is obliged to reply, even if the answer is > perfunctory. On a discussion list, people will happily delete your > posting if they don't understand it or it's too much like hard work even > to try to find out what you are seeking. There is no mechanism on > Statalist for ensuring that anybody answers, so a question that looks > too difficult for everyone will just lie there. > > * A help line is aimed at helping individuals, and giving the client a > good answer is the key goal. You as a client will not know, and need not > care, about other clients. On a discussion list, it is fine if people get > individual help in public, but it is also important that such help > contributes to an archive of solved problems that people can search. > A lousy question that is too difficult to answer wastes the > questioner's time and also clogs the list and the archives with > unhelpful posts. > > Following all the advice below won't guarantee an answer that satisfies > you, but ignoring most or all of it will make such an answer much less > likely. > > 0. Use your full real name in postings. Incomplete or cute or cryptic > names may be > standard elsewhere, but this is firm Statalist policy. If you don't > agree, please don't post. Other forums are likely to be more to your taste. > > 1. Help yourself first. Use the Stata help, the Stata manuals, -findit-, > the Stata FAQs, and the Statalist archives, in that order. (The idea > that you should search the web before you read the manual is a strange > belief shared by many new users.) > > 2. Explain your data structure clearly and with examples (variable types > etc.) We can only understand your dataset to the extent that you explain > it clearly. > > 3. Indeed, it is usually much clear if you give an example which can > easily be replicated > using data supplied with Stata or in your post. > > 4. Show the exact Stata syntax you used and show the exact Stata output > you got. (Never say just that something "doesn't work" or "didn't > work", but explain > precisely in what sense you didn't get what you wanted.) > > 5. Specify the Stata version you used and the operating system you used > if it could possibly be relevant. Don't assume that the whole Stata > world uses MS Windows, let alone MS Excel. > > 6. Explain where user-written commands you refer to come from, for > example the Stata Journal, SSC, or someone's website. This makes clearer > what you are talking about, to everyone's benefit. > > 7. Give full literature references, not references of the form "Greene" > or the form "Sue, Grabbit, and Runne (2002)". That means references of a > standard that you would expect to find in a professional publication. > > 8. Ask a precise question that is easy to answer. Is this correct? or > what should I do with my data? usually don't qualify. > > 9. The best strategy is to ask a question that someone else will want to > answer, not to act clueless or desperate. > > 10. Do send plain text only. Don't send attachments or use formatting > such as HTML. > > 11. Post once and wait patiently for a reply. (To see if something "got > through", check the archives.) > > 12. Try to use Stata terminology wherever possible, not terminology that > may be more familiar to you because you are more used to other software. > Stata's the language we all share. For example, it is not a good idea to > assume that people likely to answer questions think or work using > spreadsheet terms. > > 13. The correct spelling is "Stata", not "STATA". Several of the most active > experts on the list can get irritated if you get that wrong, and you are > free to regard them as pedantic. More importantly, if you write "STATA" > you are making it all too obvious that you haven't studied the FAQ carefully. > > 14. Close threads with concise summaries sent to the list of what > worked. That is the best way to show appreciation and to contribute > further to the list. > * > * For searches and help try: > * http://www.stata.com/help.cgi?search > * http://www.stata.com/support/faqs/resources/statalist-faq/ > * http://www.ats.ucla.edu/stat/stata/ * * For searches and help try: * http://www.stata.com/help.cgi?search * http://www.stata.com/support/faqs/resources/statalist-faq/ * http://www.ats.ucla.edu/stat/stata/

**Follow-Ups**:**Re: st: Statalist advice: a summary***From:*Jeph Herrin <stata@spandrel.net>

**References**:**st: Statalist advice: a summary***From:*Nick Cox <njcoxstata@gmail.com>

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