Frequently Asked Questions

  • Where is the RStats Institute located? 

We are located on the lower level in the Park Central Office Building (PCOB), on the Downtown Square.  The Gold Bear-Line shuttle service stops right outside PCOB.  After entering the Park Central Office Building lobby, look for the stairs and an elevator at the northwest corner of the lobby area.  Proceed to the lower level and you will see the RStats signs. 

  • When is the RStats Institute open?

RStats is open during MSU business hours. Monday through Friday: 9 a.m. - 5 p.m., and by appointment. Open hours are held only on days when regular classes are in session.

  • How much do RStats individual consulting sessions cost, and who can receive individual consulting services?

The RStats Institute individual consulting services are free and available on a first-come, first-served basis to all MSU faculty, staff, and students who are doing faculty-directed academic research. Although we are open to the campus community, we give priority in scheduling to faculty and students in the colleges of Health and Human Services and Education. There is no user fee for services.

  • Why do two colleges receive priority in scheduling individual consulting sessions?

RStats is supported by the offices of the Provost and the Dean of Health and Human Services; therefore, we make sure that CHHS and Education get served. Most times, this is not a problem, but faculty and students are encouraged to make appointments early in the semester as time slots tend to fill up later in the semester. 

  • What assistance is offered in the individual consulting sessions?

RStats associates provide assistance with:     

Research Design - help scholars conceptualize a research project and determine the appropriate research design to use to answer particular questions. It is highly recommended that consulting occur early in the planning stages

Power Analysis - help scholars to estimate the number of participants they need to conduct their research and effectively test their hypothesis

Data Management – provide help and tutorials for scholars on how to use SPSS (Statistical Package for the Social Sciences) to manage large data sets, and create aggregate variables

Data Entry - help scholars to set up their data base using SPSS (Statistical Package for the Social Sciences).  Note: RStats ability to provide actual data entry services will depend upon the availability of student assistance

Statistical Analyses – help with univariate analyses such as correlations, t-tests and analysis of variance (ANOVA) multivariate analysis of variance (MANOVA), multiple regression, logistic regression and structural equation modeling (SEM)

Manuscript/Grant Preparation and Revision – assist with the statistical portions of manuscript/grant preparation and revisions following APA and NIH guidelines. In addition, after manuscript submission, RStats associates can provide guidance on how to revise the results section according to reviewers’ comments.

  • Will an RStats consultant expect to become a co-author on my published research?

Typically not. If the services you receive at RStats are helpful to you, we ask that you acknowledge that assistance in a footnote. This also helps RStats demonstrate the number of publications we have assisted. In some cases, however, the consultant’s intellectual contribution to a manuscript is substantial. In those cases, RStats associates will follow NIH’s suggestions for authorship and co-authorship could be warranted.  Each instance will be evaluated on an individual basis. This discussion should take place as early in the consulting process as possible and should be agreed upon in writing.

  • How can I acknowledge the assistance of an RStats associate for help on a paper or poster?

The appropriate way to acknowledge anyone who helps improve your research is with a footnote. Although the specific wording is up to you, here are three examples we suggest:

  • The author wishes to thank Todd Daniel at the Missouri State University RStats Institute for his assistance on this project.
  • The author expresses his gratitude to Carrie Melia at the Missouri State University RStats Institute for her help with the methodology for this poster.
  • The author wishes to acknowledge Kayla Jordan at the Missouri State University RStats Institute for her assistance with data analysis for this paper.
  • What if I am writing a grant and expect an RStats associate to assist me with statistical analyses? 

Funding for the work to be completed by RStats consulting staff member(s) should be written into grant proposals.  The hourly cost assigned to the project must be approved by the RStats Institute Director prior to grant proposal submission.

  • Does RStats accept contract work or conduct statistical analyses for clients external to MSU?

RStats is open to offering consulting services external to MSU on a time-limited basis. Please call or email with your request and we will see if we may be able to help. Because RStats is funded by the College of Health and Human Services and the Provost for Missouri State students and faculty, contract work may be fee-based.

  • How do I request an individual consulting session?

It is easy to request an appointment online. In the column to the right of this text, you will see the words "Make an Appointment." Click on that link, enter your information and an RStats associate will contact you to arrange your consultation.  Students who are requesting a consultation must be accompanied by a sponsoring faculty member to the initial and the closing consulting session. 

  • What should I expect during an individual consultation?

You will be consulting on your research project in a one-on-one environment with an RStats faculty associate and may also be working with RStats student associates.  The initial consultation will generally be scheduled for one hour, and follow-up sessions will be scheduled as needed, for up to five hours of consulting time.  There will also be a closing consulting session where a summary of the work done will be discussed.  This session could also last up to one hour. 

  • How should I prepare for my initial session with an RStats consultant?

You should prepare for your initial session with a consultant by organizing your thoughts or your actual research materials, depending on the where you are in the research process.  You may want to:   

  • Write up a brief summary of the questions you hope to answer in your research project
  • Outline some of your hypotheses – what do you expect to find?
  • Make copies of the research materials to provide to the consultant (i.e., questionnaires, research proposals, manuscript drafts, IRB approvals)
  • Organize and bring copies of any analyses that have already been conducted on your data
  • Come prepared to provide any/all information that will help the RStats consultant to understand your project so that you can receive optimal guidance
  • What if my research project requires more than five hours of consulting time? 

You may receive more than five hours of consulting time in special cases.  Extended consulting time is offered only if resources permit and requires approval by the RStats Institute Director.   RStats will also maintain a waiting list if the demand for consulting services is greater than our ability to immediately provide the services.  Once you have used five hours of consulting time, you will be placed on the waiting list and can receive additional consulting after other clients on the list have been served. 

  • Will an RStats associate come to teach my class?

RStats associates would be happy to visit your statistics or research methods class to talk about RStats and the services we can offer you and your students. We do not do not go to classes and teach research topics.

  • Can RStats help me with my statistics homework?

RStats can assist you with actual research. If you need help with class homework, we recommend the Bear CLAW (Center for Learning and Writing). Bear CLAW provides one-on-one tutoring and help with introductory statistics.