Research and Statistical Support

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NOTE: Please read the FAQ thoroughly before contacting our office.
Web link for requesting support and/or appointments with RSS staff

RSS Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

RSS Resources

Who is RSS?

The research and statistical support group at the University of North Texas (RSS) is staffed by two full-time staff employees.  Dr. Richard Herrington has degrees in psychology, mathematics and education, and is proficient in R, S-Plus, SPSS, SAS, LISREL, Zope Web Server, and various other research oriented tools in Unix/Linux.  Dr. Jon Starkweather has a Ph.D. in Experimental Psychology and has experience with R, SPSS, SAS, LaTeX, and various other statistical software.

What kind of help IS offered?

Research Support: We very much enjoy collaborating on research projects with the faculty and students who come to our offices.  We can suggest the various analyses which can be performed on your data, along with the pros and cons of each.  One can just use us to bounce ideas off of in the earliest stages to help assist with diagnostic checks at the end. 

Knowledge Support: Statistics is a constantly evolving enterprise that the applied researcher typically does not have time to keep up with.  That's where we come in.  We have many books, articles, software at our disposal to help you learn new techniques to make your analyses better!

Software Support: We support various software packages related to research endeavors such as SPSS, S-Plus, Stata, R, LaTex, Zope, QSurvey, SAS, LISREL, and Eviews.

Programming: We can suggest strategies for specific problems, perhaps show you example programs if you desire, and hopefully help your coding become more efficient.

Instructional Support: We can offer strategies for integrating quantitative methods and statistical computing into your class.

More on our policies can be found here.

What kind of assistance is NOT offered?

Software: We cannot give you help with software we do not support (which includes some specific modules for SAS, SPSS etc.), nor can we fix your supported software issue during non-office hours.  Also some issues may need to be resolved by network managers for the various colleges on campus.

Programming: We cannot write the programs for you.

Data analysis: While we can tell you what we think you should do or what we would do in such a situation, we cannot make the final decisions about how you should analyze your data or perform the analysis for you.  That in the end is left to the primary investigator and/or research collaborators.  Also, we are not in the business of helping you do poor research.  We expect our clients to have a vested interest in what they are researching and desire to get the most out of their data.

Meeting your deadline: You are one of many people requiring our assistance along with other general duties we have at RSS.  While we can do what is possible within our means, research problems often take weeks or even months to solve so come for help early well before your deadline.

Homework: We do not provide help for coursework.  And yes, we can tell. The CIRA lab on the 3rd floor of Matthews Hall offers students help with statistical classes' course work.

Teach basic statistics: Unfortunately, we simply do not have the time and resources to help you learn basic statistics (nor should you be conducting scientific research without such knowledge).  We expect at minimum for you to have taken an introductory course so that we can speak the same language.

How do I get a copy of SPSS, SAS etc.?

Students can obtain copies of some supported software at local and web retail locations or from the software manufacturers themselves. Some versions, of varying degrees of functionality (e.g., student versions) may be available for different prices depending on the software. Stata must be purchased directly through the Stata website. Full details of software we support can be found here.

Full-time and/or benefits eligible staff and faculty may obtain copies of SPSS and/or SAS from their respective department's network administrator. Generally, UNT's LICENSES for SPSS and SAS DO NOT ALLOW this option for undergraduate students or graduate students regardless of whether they are TFs, TAs, RAs, or RFs. However, there are an extremely limited number of complex acceptions to these license rules which allow some graduate students to obtain these software packages from RSS. For specific questions concerning supported software licensing, please contact Patrick McLeod.

SPSS users might want to take a look at PSPP which is extremely similar to SPSS; but, PSPP is a free download.

How much do your services cost?

Our services are free to the UNT community.

The short course I was interested in taking has already been given this semester, when are the next short courses going to be held?

If the dates are not posted they have not been decided upon yet; please do not contact us asking when they will be.  As soon as the dates are determined they are immediately posted to the web.

What are your hours?

Although the schedules of the members of RSS are somewhat variable depending on individual work load, we maintain coverage from 9:00 am to 5:00 pm Monday through Friday.

How do I set up an appointment to meet with someone?

Appointments are made by filling out a request form here.  Depending on your needs you may end up having to work with someone specifically, or anyone of us might be able to offer assistance.

 

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Contact Information

Richard Herrington, PhD

Richard.Herrington@unt.edu

940-565-2140

Jon Starkweather, PhD

Jonathan.Starkweather@unt.edu

940-565-4066

Last updated: 11/25/14 by Jon Starkweather.

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