Statistical Rules of Thumb


 Some of My Favorite Statistical Books...

Here are some books I referred to frequently that may be useful to readers of Statistical Rules of Thumb. Not included are more theoretical books used for derivation of some of the rules. All the books listed should be accessible. Another criterion for selection is that the books should be fairly recent. The one exception is the book by R.A. Fisher. This is a list of favorites, hence, the glowing comments are a biased sampling of the universe of comments.

This review ignores key papers that frequently summarize and update a field. For example, the area of missing data is growing so rapidly that some of the older standard texts are becoming less useful for references. 

If you have favorites that should be added to this list let me know.

[Epidemiology] [General_Biostatistics] [Environmental_Studies] [Design_of_Experiments] [Words,_Tables,_and_Graphs] [Covariation] [General_Statistics]


Breslow, N.E. and Day, N.E. (1987). Statistical Methods in Cancer Research. Volume I and II. International Agency for Research on Cancer Scientific Publications No. 82, Lyon. The standard for many years. Always worthwhile. Clayton, D. and Hills, M. (1993). Statistical Models in Epidemiology. Oxford University Press, Oxford. A tour de force. An outstanding example of how to present theoretical results in an understandable way. A novel tree-diagram approach to modeling epidemiological studies. Newman, S.C. (2001). Biostatistical Methods in Epidemiology. John Wiley and Sons, New York. An excellent statistical treatment of epidemiology. Can be trusted. The mathematical level is higher than Clayton and Hills (1993) but still accessible. I recommend it highly. Excellent chapter on sample size calculations. [Top of Page]


General Biostatistics

Armitage, P. and Colton, T. (editors) (1998). Encyclopedia of Biostatistics. John Wiley and Sons, Chicester, UK. This is THE reference for biostatistical topics. Most of the biostatistical topics in Statistical Rules of Thumb find a counterpart in this encyclopedia. The price is such that it will only be found in large libraries.   Fisher, L.D. and van Belle, G. (1993). Biostatistics: A Methodology for the Health Sciences. John Wiley and Sons, New York. An encyclopedic approach to biostatistics for researchers and students. Good reference. Revised edition is planned. Lachin, J.M. (2000). Biostatistical Methods. John Wiley and Sons, New York. Excellent text by one of the leaders in the field; it's fairly mathematical. Very useful links to epidemiology-could be used as a epidemiology text as well. Has a unified approach to sample size calculations. [Top of Page]


Environmental Studies

Barnett, V. and O'Hagan, A. (1997). Setting Environmental Standards: The Statistical Approach to Handling Uncertainty and Variation. Chapman & Hall, London. An excellent resource for statistical aspects of setting standards. The international context provides a good perspective. Millard, S.P. and Neerchal, N.K. (2001). Environmental Statistics. CRC Press, Boca Raton, FL. An encyclopedic, illustrated, review of statistical methods used in environmental studies. Deserves a prize. If you want to know what procedure to use and how to use it, consult this text. Ott, W.R. (1995a). Environmental Statistics and Data Analysis. Lewis Publishers, Boca Raton, FL. An excellent book on environmental statistics. Chapters on the lognormal distribution are worth the price of the book. Written by a leader in the field of exposure assessment. [Top of Page]


Design of Experiments

Cox, D.R. and Reid, N. (2000). The Theory of the Design of Experiments. Chapman & Hall/CRC, London. A classic of the design of experiments in modern dress. Great resource. Fisher, R.A. (1935). The Design of Experiments. Oliver and Boyd, Edinburgh. THE classic in the design of experiments. All the basic ideas about design are here. My mentor (D.B. DeLury) said this book should be read once a year for ten years. Still very readable although there is more mathematics than meets the eye. Yandell, B.S. (1997). Practical Data Analysis for Designed Experiments. Chapman and Hall, London. Thorough reference for the design of experiments. Great website for associated data. [Top of Page]


Words, Tables, Graphs

Cleveland, W.S. (1993). Visualizing Data. Hobart, Summit, NJ. A very thorough discussion of graphical techniques. Tufte, E.R. (1983). The Visual Display of Quantitative Information. Graphics Press, Cheshire, CT. Any book by Tufte is worth owning. This first one is still my favorite. Subsequent volumes display increasing artistry. A Tufte continuing education course on graphics is an intellectual feast. Wainer, H. (1997). Visual Revelations: Graphical Tales of Fate and Deception from Napoleon Bonaparte to Ross Perot. Springer-Verlag, New York. Wainer's columns in the journal (magazine?) Chance are evidence of his insights into display of data. In this book he takes us on a historical tour. Wilkinson, L. (1999). The Grammar of Graphics. Springer, New York. An ambitious book aiming to develop rules for the graphical display of numerical information. [Top of Page]



Agresti, A.(1990). Categorical Data Analysis. John Wiley & Sons, New York. Agresti has written several books on covaration associated with categorical data. This book provides a good introduction and reference. Diggle, P.J., Liang, K-Y., and Zeger, S.L. (1994). Analysis of Longitudinal Data. Oxford Science Publications, Oxford. Excellent resource for starting to think about longitudinal data analysis. Is being updated at this time.

McDonald, R.P. (1999). Test Theory: A Unified Approach. Lawrence Erlbaum Associates, Mahwah, NJ.

An outstanding reference for psychometrics associated with the development and evaluation of tests. McDonald's perspective is broad and integrative. Start here for factor analysis, item response.


theory, and classical test theory.

[Top of Page]


General Statistics

Hollander, M. and Wolfe, D.A. (1999). Nonparametric Statistical Methods, second edition. John Wiley and Sons, New York. The best book on nonparametric statistics. The authors, experts in the field, are aware of the latest trends and give nice examples throughout. Kleinbaum, D.G., Kupper, L.J., Muller, K.E. and Nizam, A. (1998). Applied Regression Analysis and Multivariable Methods. Third edition. Brooks/Cole, Pacific Grove, CA. A standard regression reference that keeps getting updated. Raftery, A.E., Tanner, M.A. and Wells, M.T. (editors). Statistics in the 21st Century. Chapman & Hall/CRC, Boca Raton, FL. What will statistics be like in the 21st century? A series of vignettes by leaders in the field. Well-written and a great resource for recent references. [Top of Page]


Gerald van Belle

November 11, 2003


[Epidemiology] [General_Biostatistics] [Environmental_Studies] [Design_of_Experiments] [Words,_Tables,_and_Graphs] [Covariation] [General_Statistics]


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