Blog Archives

There is no Such Thing as Biomedical "Big Data"

February 11, 2014
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There is no Such Thing as Biomedical "Big Data"

At the moment, the world is obsessed with “Big Data” yet it sometimes seems that people who use this phrase don’t have a good grasp of its meaning.  Like most good buzz-words, “Big Data” sparks the idea of something grand and complicated, while sounding ordinary enough that listeners feel like they have an intuitive understanding of the concept.  However...

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More SOTU Scaling

January 30, 2014
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More SOTU Scaling

A couple of days ago the Monkey Cage featured Ben Lauderdale’s one-dimensional scaling model of US State of the Union addresses. In this post, I replicate the analysis with a closely related model, ask what the scaled dimension actually means, and consider what things would look like if we added another one. The technical details

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A Mitochondrial Manhattan Plot

November 6, 2013
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A Mitochondrial Manhattan Plot

Manhattan plots have become the standard way to visualize results for genetic association studies, allowing the viewer to instantly see significant results in the rough context of their genomic position.  Manhattan plots are typically shown on a l...

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Call them what you will

October 28, 2013
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I’ve been playing around with the R package texreg for creating combined regression tables for multiple models. It’s not the only package to do that – see here for a review – but it’s often handy to be able to generate both ascii art, latex, and html versions of the same table using almost identical

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Which political science journals will have a data policy?

March 18, 2013
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Which political science journals will have a data policy?

Making available replication materials for the research you do is A Good Thing. It’s also work, and it’s quite easy to never get around to. Certainly I claim no special virtue in this department so I am always happy when there’s an institutional stick to prod my better nature in the right direction. One such institutional

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R to Latex packages: Coverage

March 12, 2013
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There are now quite a few R packages to turn cross-tables and fitted models into nicely formatted latex. In a previous post I showed how to use one of them to display regression tables on the fly. In this post I summarise what types of R object each of the major packages can deal with.

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Tools for making a paper

March 1, 2013
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Since it seems to be the fashion, here’s a post about how I make my academic papers. Actually, who am I trying to kid? This is also about how I make slides, letters, memos and “Back in 10 minutes” signs to pin on the door. Nevertheless it’s for making academic papers that I’m going to

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Quantifying the international search for meaning

February 9, 2013
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Quantifying the international search for meaning

Inspired by Preis et al.’s article Quantifying the advantage of looking forward, recently published in Scientific Reports (one of Nature publishing group’s journals), I wondered if similar big-data web-based research methods might address a question even bigger than how much different countries wonder about next year. How about the meaning of life. Who is searching

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Show me the pdf already

February 1, 2013
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You’ve got a pdf file and you’d like to view it with whatever the system viewer is. As usual, that requires something special for Windows and something general for the rest of us. Here goes… openPDF <- function(f) { os <- .Platform$OS.type if (os=="windows") shell.exec(normalizePath(f)) else { pdf <- getOption("pdfviewer", default='') if (nchar(pdf)==0) stop("The 'pdfviewer'

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No more ascii-art

January 24, 2013
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No more ascii-art

At least fourfive R packages will turn your regression models into pretty latex tables: texreg, xtable, apsrtable, memisc, and stargazer.  This is very nice if you happen to be a latex document or its final reader, but it’s not so great if you’re making those models to start with. What if you wanted to see

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