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Statistical Software and the e-Handbook of Statistical Methods

Statistical Software The version of the Handbook on the NIST web pages is integrated with the Dataplot statistical software. In order to use Dataplot from the Handbook, it must be downloaded and installed on your local system.

The example data in the Handbook is also analyzed using R software. Links to both Dataplot and R code are included throughout the Handbook.

R Software R software is free and easily downloaded to a variety of platforms. Information about R can be found at

The R codes and the associated data sets are available in the following zip file.

What is Dataplot Dataplot is a free, downloadable statistical software package maintained by the National Institute of Standards and Technology. It can be used both within the handbook and independently of the handbook and is able to perform a significant proportion of the analyses described in the handbook. The Dataplot web page contains further information about Dataplot.
How is Dataplot Integrated into the Handbook Dataplot is integrated with the Handbook in the following ways:
  1. The majority of the sample output, graphics, and case studies were generated with Dataplot. This aspect does not require you to have Dataplot or know anything about Dataplot. Most of the sample output and graphics could have been created with any general purpose statistical program.

    R scripts are now available as well.

  2. The case studies contain a "Work this Example Yourself" section that is implemented using Dataplot. That is, you click on a link that starts Dataplot and executes a pre-existing Dataplot macro. Dataplot is run in a separate window, so you can see the Handbook pages and the Dataplot output together. Once Dataplot is running, you can also generate your own commands in addition to running the Handbook generated macros. This aspect of the integration requires you to have Dataplot installed on your local system.

  3. Dataplot can access the Handbook as an on-line help system (via a WEB HANDBOOK <keyword> command). This complements the normal Dataplot on-line help in that the Handbook accesses descriptions of the statistical techniques where the regular on-line help is focused on how the technique is implemented in Dataplot.
Downloading Dataplot Dataplot can be downloaded from the Dataplot web pages. The web pages contain the instructions for installing Dataplot on your system.

The manual of Dataplot commands can also be viewed from the Dataplot web pages.

Activating Dataplot from a Case Study Once Dataplot is locally installed, your Web browser can be configured to automatically activate Dataplot when you click any hyperlink under 'Run this Example Yourself' from a case study.

When activated, Dataplot brings up a separate screen which is divided into four windows:

  1. Upper left - Feedback and computational output
  2. Lower left - Dataplot commands as they are executed
  3. Upper right - Graphical output
  4. Lower right - Spreadsheet of data
At the bottom of the screen is a wide, rectangular window where you can enter your own Dataplot commands. Or you can enter commands using the menus in the graphical interface. Clicking on the hyperlinks in the Handbook will execute a specific set of Dataplot commands.

Without leaving this window, it should be possible to click on the next hyperlink from the case study to continue the analysis.

To exit Dataplot, click on the Exit button on the menu bar.

NOTE: This feature is currently disabled.

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