Stack exchange for statistical analysis needs you!

June 17, 2010
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(This article was first published on Research tips » R, and kindly contributed to R-bloggers)

The proposal to create a StackExchange site for statistical analysis is steadily moving forward. We have now completed the scoping stage which involved finding enough people willing to express an interest in the idea, and voting on some example questions to define what is allowed and what is not allowed on the site. The on-topic questions that have been selected are these:

  1. What is a ‘standard deviation’?
  2. Which of the following three graphics best displays this data set? Why?
  3. What’s the best way to identify an outlier in multivariate data?
  4. Can you give an example of where I might prefer to use a z-test vs a t-test?
  5. What are the differences between Bayesian and Frequentist reasoning?

Examples of questions considered off-topic are:

  1. How do I win in Poker?
  2. I have two children. One is a boy born on a Tuesday. What is the probability I have two boys?
  3. Joe is 8 years old, Mike is 10 years old, and Alice is 13. What is their MEDIAN age?
  4. Where can I access NASA’s data archives?
  5. How much should I expect to pay for a SAS licence?

The next phase is to get people to commit to contributing to the site. Many readers of this blog have already registered as “followers” — now you have to make a commitment to be a contributor as well. The site won’t launch until there are enough people committed to being part of it.

Just go to the site and indicate that you are willing to be an active participant once it launches.

If you’re wondering what this is all about, and why this is a much better approach than the various usenet and email help groups, there’s a nice summary on Tal Galili’s blog.

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