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Empirical Research: Statistical Software & Instruction

This guide will provide resources for empirical legal research including information on data sets and statistical packages.

Statistical Software

There are a variety of software packages available for use in statistical analysis.  Below, we list some resources that will assist the beginner.


Stata is a general multi-purpose statistical software package, often used in empirical legal studies.   The most up-to-date version is Stata 15.


SPSS is a popular statistical software package amongst social science researchers.  The most up-to-date version is SPSS v. 25.  SPSS v.25 is available at Fordham University Computing Centers.


SAS is strong in data management and the analysis of variance (ANOVA). It has a reputation for being challenging to use.  The most up-to-date version is SAS v. 9.4. 

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  • What Statistical Test do I Use? A quick guide from UCLA's Insitute for Digital Research and Education that helps you to determine what statistical test to use, depending on the type of variables you are working with.
  • Duke Law's Empirical Training page offers some mini-classes on certain aspects of empirical research such as coding and surveys.
  • Data Management Plans: Stanford's website provides guidance for the creation of a data management plan (DMP), which describes, among other things, the data you will acquire and how you will analyze, store, share, and preserve your data.   DMP Online, a tool developed by the UK Digital Curation Centre, also provides templates for DMPs.

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  • Acock, Alan C. A Gentle Introduction to Stata, 3rd ed.  College Station, Texas: Stata Press, 2010. QA276.45 S73 A36 2010 
  • Cody, Ron. SAS Statistics by Example.  Cary, NC: SAS Pub., 2011.  Available online through Fordham University Libraries
  • Hamilton, Lawrence C. Statistics with Stata: Updated for Version 12. Boston, MA: Cengage Learning, 2013.  Available online through Fordham University Libraries
  • Kulas, John T. SPSS Essentials: Managing and Analyzing Social Sciences Data.  San Francisco, CA: Jossey-Bass, 2009.  Available through Fordham University Libraries.
  • Long, J. Scott. The Workflow of Data Analysis Using Stata. College Station, Texas: Stata Press, 2009. QA276.45 .S73 L66 2009
  • Marques de Sa, J.P.  Applied Statistics: using SPSS, STATISTICA, MATLAB and R, 2nd ed. New York: Springer, 2007.  This title is available as an electronic resource through Fordham University Libraries.

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  • The Journal of Statistical Software is a free on-line journal containing articles, book and software reviews.   
  • Journal of Official Statistics: published by the national statistical office of Sweden, this open access journal publishes articles on collection, processing and analysis of statistics.
  • Journal of Applied Statistics: articles on the use of statistics in a wide range of disciplines including business, computing, economics, medicine and education. This journal can be accessed through Fordham University Library.
  • Journal of Time Series Analysis: publishes peer-reviewed articles on both theory and applications, as well as communications on theoretical developments.  Available through Fordham University Library.
  • Probability and Statistics: publishes original research and survey papers in the area of probability and statistics.  Fields covered include finance and econometrics.
  • The Stata Journal: publishes articles about statistics, data analysis, and using and teaching Stata.

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  • K Pearson, "On the criterion that a given system of deviations from the probable in the case of a correlated system of variables is such that it can be reasonably supposed to have arisen from random sampling" in 50 Philosophical Magazine Series 5 157-175 (1900).

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