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Research Methods

The A through Z of Error-Free Research Using R


Dates: Begins June 19th 2015

Aim of the Course: To provide a guide to error-free research whether planning experiments and surveys, collecting data, analyzing data, or developing reports and oral presentations. To serve both as a self-help refresher course and a second course in statistics. Each lesson provides a prescription, examples, and step-by-step methods. 


Who Should Take This Course: Anyone about to make the transition from slavish student to independent researcher. 

Instructor: Dr. Phillip Good, an applied statistician and graduate of the program in mathematical statistics at U.C. Berkeley, is in his seventh (7th) year of providing on-line interactive courses. A former Division Head and Professor of Biology at West Coast University, he is the author of Introduction to Statistics via Resampling Methods and Microsoft Office Excel (Wiley, 2005), Common Errors in Statistics (and How to Avoid Them) (4th edition, Wiley, 2012 with James Hardin), Manager's Guide to Design and Conduct of Clinical Trials (Wiley, 2nd ed 2006), Resampling Methods (Birkhauser, 3rd ed, 2005), and Applying Statistics in the Courtroom (CRC, 2001). He has given tutorials at the Joint Statistical Meetings (U.S.) and Deming Conference, lectured in Australia, Belgium, Bulgaria, France, Holland, Ireland, Slovenia, and Spain, and was twice a traveling lecturer for the American Statistical Association. 

Prerequisite: At least one previous course in statistics.  If you've never used R or any other computer language before, the add-on-module, a one-week introduction to R,  is recommended.


Organization of the Course: The course takes place over the Internet. Course participants will be given access to a private bulletin board, on which they will receive course materials. The board will also serve as a forum for discussion of ideas and problem solving.  

The course is scheduled to take place over four weeks. At the beginning of each week, participants receive the relevant material, in addition to answers to exercises from the previous session. During the week, participants are expected to go over the course materials and work through the exercises. Discussion among participants is encouraged. The course leader will provide answers and comments on set weekdays. 

Course Text: Selected chapters of The A to Z of Error-Free Research are provided in electronic format. A paperback of the complete text may be purchased from

Course Program: The course is structured as follows 


SESSION 1: Planning Research

  • When statistics are required
  • Testable hypotheses
  • Sources of variation
  • Sampling objectives

SESSION 2: Collecting Data

  • Experimental designs
  • Formal descriptions
  • Computerize your data
  • Preventive measures
  • Monitoring

SESSION 3: Analyzing Data

  • Descriptive statistics
  • Types of data  
  • Estimation 
  • Testing hypotheses
  • Special techniques (as dictated by current course participants) 

SESSION 4: Reporting Your Findings

  • Parts of the report
  • Methods and materials
  • Text, table or graph
  • Rejection and how to respond 
  • Oral presentations

Each lesson provides a prescription, examples, and step-by-step methods. Participants are encouraged to submit their own projected or ongoing research for guidance.

Cost: The full cost of this four-week interactive on-line course is only $349. (Students, faculty, and research workers at academic and government institutions can obtain a further discount of $45 on the course by writing to using their institutional email address.)   

Immediately after your payment is credited, you will receive an email giving you a password, sign up instructions, and the web address (URL) of the course material.  Note that you will not be able to access this address until the start date of the course. 

To purchase the course click below.


To purchase the course including the add-on module--Introduction to R--for $399 (less discounts where applicable), click below. Inc. (Ohio, USA) is an authorized retailer for goods and services provided by

Refund Policy: Up until one-week prior to the start of a course, a refund of the fee paid less $50 will be provided on request.  Although there are no refunds after that date, a course participant may enroll without charge the next time the course is offered.

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