Free Online Statistics Books

June 5, 2010

(This article was first published on R-Chart, and kindly contributed to R-bloggers)

Sources as varied as Google’s Chief Economist Hal Varian and threatening online personalty (offensive language warning) Zed Shaw have recognized a growing need for professionals with solid statistical skills to meet the technical challenges facing the world today. There are a number of great online resources available for learning and reviewing statistics. Find enough of these bargains and you can justify buying a Kindle or iPad :)

Elements of Statistical Learning by Hastie, Friedman and Tibshirani is a large download ( > 1/2 GB around 8 MB). This is a very comprehensive text… I have only accessed the online version, but it is a bit unwieldy. Eventually I would like to get the print version.

Introduction to Statistical Thought by Michael Lavine is a practical guide that includes examples in R available online only.


The Electronic Statistics Textbook has been available online for a number of years. It is formatted as well organized HTML, rather than simply being a print version of the book available online. It has also been consolidated into a printed version titled “STATISTICS Methods and Applications.”

The UCLA Statistics E-Book is a wiki created by the Statistics Online Computational Resource.

Some of the books available online include interactive components. The Online Stat Book includes experiments that a user can participate in and view the results (such as a test that analyzes the time required for a user to click a large and small button on the screen).

What format of statistical reference books do you read? If electronic, what device are you using?

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