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CrossValidated: A place to post your statistics questions

Seth Rogers writes:

I [Rogers] am a member of an online community of statisticians where I burn a great deal of time (and a recovering cog sci researcher). Our community website is a peer-reviewed Q and A spanning stats topics ranging from applications to mathematical theory. Our online community consists of mostly university faculty, grad students and technical consultants. The answer quality is very strong and the web design is intuitive. I think you and your readers are like-minded and would be really interested in some of the topics on the site, CrossValidated (you may know the sister site: The philosophy is purely to further knowledge for the sake of knowledge and take pride in learning.

I took a quick look and the site seemed like it could be useful to people. The only thing I didn’t understand is, why doesn’t it have a search function? (Or maybe it was there somewhere and I couldn’t find it.)

P.S. to all the commenters who wrote replies such as, “I’m not sure how you missed the search function, it is in the top right corner of the website (the same place it is everywhere else on the internet!)” etc.:

Browsers differ. Here’s how the page looks to me when I follow the link:

And no search box appeared when I scrolled around on the page. If you click on that x on the upper right, the orange bar disappears, revealing a search box underneath. Unfortunately, there was no “click on this x to make the search bar appear” note, and I had no idea this was the way to do it!


  1. Jerzy says:

    The search function is at the top right, hidden underneath the “Welcome!” message — a bit of an unfortunate layout conflict there.

  2. DrG says:

    There is a small search entry text-box in upper right (next to faq)…

  3. Jflycn says:

    Search is at top right.

  4. William Ockham says:

    I initially read the first sentence to mean that the online community of statisticians allowed the author to burn a recovering cog sci researcher. I was relieved to realize that wasn’t the case. In any event, I see a search box at the top of the page and the search seems to function fairly well.

    • Jon Keane says:

      I parsed the sentence the same way on the first (and a few subsequent) read(s) trying to recover a meaning that didn’t involve burning recovering cog sci researchers. Coordination scope is tricky.

  5. Sam Osilov says:

    A small business just leased a new computer and color laser printer for three years. The service contract for the computer offers unlimited repairs for a fee of $100 a year plus $25 service charge for each repair needed. The company’s research suggested that during a given year 86% of these computers needed no repairs, 9% needed to be repaired once, 4% twice, 1% once, and none required more than three repairs.
    1.) Find the expected number of repairs this kind of computer is expected to need each year. Show work
    2.) Find the standard deviation of the # of repairs each year
    3.) What are the mean and standard deviation of the company’s annual expense for the service contract?
    4.) How many times should the company expect to have to get this computer repaired over the three-year term of lease?
    5.) What is the standard deviation of the # of repairs that may be required during the 3-year lease period? On what assumption does you calculation rest? Do you think this assumption is reasonable, explain?
    6.) The service contract for the printer estimates a mean annual cost of $120 with the standard deviation of $30. What is the expected value and standard deviation of the total cost for the service contracts on the computer and printer?
    7.) Which service contract should the company expect to cost more each year? How much more? What is the standard deviation?

  6. Dave Giles says:

    Andrew: There is a search box at top right – but it’s easy to miss.

  7. There is a small search box in the very upper right corner of the page, next to a bunch of rarely used links.

  8. Maximilian Hell says:

    looks great! and the search function is in the top right corner.

  9. Kaiser says:

    The search box is up in the far right corner. They also have tags for large topics. It’d be interesting to see how far this goes. I did some speculation in this post.

  10. Corey says:

    Careful! Participation in such sites can prove addictive. See for instance, Christian Robert:

    “For the few past days, I have been monitoring Cross Validated… I think (hope?) I will stop there my involvement. First, I fear this type of forum is too addictive…” Nov 21

    “Having (rather foolishly) involved myself into providing an answer for Cross Validated…” Dec 1

    “While (still!) looking at questions on Cross Validated on Saturday morning…”Dec 2

    “This paper [] came to my knowledge when I was looking for references [] to answer a Cross Validated question.”Dec 16

  11. Måns says:

    Nice tip! There’s a search field in the upper right corner.

  12. aix says:


    There’s a search box in the top-right corner of the front page.

  13. Jeremy Fox says:

    The search box is there, it’s just small and jammed at the very top right corner of the homepage.

  14. Andy W says:

    I’m not sure how you missed the search function, it is in the top right corner of the website (the same place it is everywhere else on the internet!) In fact, the tag system used to categorize questions makes it far easier to search and view similar questions than combing through old list-serve archives. Thanks for the plug though!

    • Andy W says:

      I see, I apologize for the quick remark! (I also see either my browser cache needs to update more frequently or comments to show up on your blog have a lag). I will put in a ticket about the feature to see what others think, although I’m not confident it would be changed. Its unfortunate it appears you HAVE to close the banner or it follows you around forever on the site as far as I can tell.

  15. jimmy says:

    christian has a post where he talks about his impressions using cross validated.

    • C Ryan King says:

      My opinion is the same, but I didn’t want to sound curmudgeonly. Most of those questions seem self-answerable by “university faculty, grad students and technical consultants” doing their own lit review. Of course many questions don’t have a simple answer, further making me not want to wade in.

  16. You can always use site-specific search on most web search engines. For instance, Google and Bing support

    linear model

    I couldn’t tell how stackexchange ranked its searches, but then Google’s pretty opaque that way, too.