Biostatistics and the Internet: The World Wide Web (WWW)

Sally Greenberg

Berlex Laboratories

This past year has given rise to a tremendous increase in the number of Biopharmaceutical statisticians gaining access to the Internet. Along with that, however, there has been a huge growth in the number of interesting resources, sometimes making it an ominous task for the new user to find out what is available. This article will highlight many of these resources, attempting to give a starting point to both new and experienced Internet users.

There are several types of relevant resources and tools, collectively referred to as "The Internet"; mailing lists, newsgroups (USENET), the WWW (World Wide Web), FTP (File Transfer Protocol), TELNET, and GOPHER are the more common ones. This article will address the World Wide Web.

The World Wide Web (WWW), also known as "The Web", has taken off at an amazingly fast pace over the last year. Web browsers (the software used to access the Web) have become both amazingly sophisticated in what they can do and simple to use. The most popular browsers are Netscape (Windows, Macintosh, and UNIX), Mosaic (Windows, Macintosh, and UNIX), and Lynx (UNIX). Also, several Internet providers have proprietary browsers. Both Netscape and Mosaic are available without charge (via FTP) for individual use.

The Council of Sections of the ASA has recently formed a committee to get a Web site for the ASA and its Sections. The main site (i.e., home page) for ASA is at . The ASA site covers a wide range of material. Consequently, it is an excellent place to begin a search for information. In addition to general ASA information and news, it includes a 6 month calendar of events, Section pages, Chapter pages, details of national, regional, and local meetings, schools granting degrees in statistics, and links to other Statistical Societies, electronic resources, and granting agencies.

Several Sections of ASA (Section on Bayesian Statistical Science, Section on Quality and Productivity, Section on Statistical Consulting, and Section on Statistical Graphics) now have sites up and running. All of these are accessible from the ASA home page. A first draft of the Biopharmaceutical Section home page should be available, as well, by the time this issue of Biopharmaceutical Report goes to press.

A few other statistical organizations also have Web sites. In addition, there are many, many other useful sites available. At the end of this article is a list that I've compiled (building on the work of too many others to credit) of some relevant sites. These sites cover a tremendous range of materials. There are sites whose sole purpose is to index other sites. There are electronic journals and electronic versions of documents available in print. There are government agency sites. There are sites containing statistical programs. There are sites containing statistical mailing list information. There are pages where you can look up e-mail addresses of colleagues. In addition, there are many sites which are temporary in that they contain information which will quickly become outdated, e.g., conference schedules and abstracts; because of their temporary nature, these are not included in the list at the end of this article. The Web has exploded to the extent that compiling a complete list of statistical and biopharmaceutical sites would be a monumental, never-ending task. Fortunately, most sites have links to other relevant sites, so tracking down a specific piece of information is generally straightforward. The sites listed below only represent a small percentage of the amount of information available.

Have fun!

Composite Resources/Good Starting Points:
Yahoo (not a statistical site, but a wonderful search engine which frequently will find the site you're looking for)
University of Florida Statistics Virtual Library
Stat/Math Resources on the World Wide Web
Statistics Servers & Many Other Links (including links to Statistical Departments around the World)
Univ. of Washington Biostatistics Virtual Library
Guide to Biostatistics Information Sources
Guide to General Statistical Resources
Guide to Statistics Resources

Statistical Societies:
International Association for Statistical Computing
The Statistical Society of Australia Inc
The Bernoulli Society for Mathematical Statistics & Probability
Statistical Society of Canada

Statistical Mailing Lists:
Hilgers' Links to Biometry
ListServer Biometry
ListServer Biometry Archives
List of Statistics Lists

Statistical Computing:
SAS Institute
SAS Institute
SAS User Group Gopher: U.niv. of Georgia
SAS/GRAPH Version 6 Tutorial & Handbook
National Science Foundation Home Page
netlib (Mathematical and Statistical Software)
Guide to Using SPSS
StatSci (S-Plus) Home Page
Frequently Asked Questions about S and S-Plus
S-news Archive
A Guide to Statistical Computing Resources on the Internet
Xlisp-Stat Home Page
GraphPad Software Home Page
Prophet Software

Electronic Journals/Bulletins:
Institute of Mathematical Statistics Bulletin
Journal of Statistics Education
Journal of Statistical Software
European Series in Applied and Industrial Mathematics: Probability and Statistics

E-Mail Directories:
Statistical Society of Canada Electronic Mail Directory
e-Directory of Academic Statisticians [searches: UK DAS, Allstat, Bayes-news, Stat-l, Edstat-l, & Sci.stat.* posters for any last name you specify!]
WHO's Online [e-mail addresses & brief biographies by profession, no statisticians yet]
directory UK Directory of Academic Statisticians

Government Agencies/Research Centers:
FedWorld Information Network
Centers for Disease Control
US Department of Health & Human Services
National Institutes of Health
Agency for Health Policy and Research Guidelines
Department of Health & Human Services Research & Data
National Center for Biotechnology Information
National Library of Medicine Online Information Services
National Library of Medicine Images from the Visible Human Project
Medicines Control Agency, UK
European Community Home Page
The World Health Organization
Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center
Federal Web Locator (includes access to Code of Federal Regulations)

Dr. B's Wide World of Web Data
Research Methods Resources from College of Education Arizona State University
Health Economics, Medicine and Pharmacy
BIO-Online (Biotechnology information)

If you'd like to be a part of the development process of the ASA Biopharmaceutical Section Home Page and links, please contact me at .

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