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Re: st: Statalist advice: a summary
Nick Cox <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Re: st: Statalist advice: a summary
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 <email@example.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.
> 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
> 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
> 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
> 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: