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After reading the third point (collecting data) on this list, I asked this question (What is the best way of collecting birth rate data?).

My question is: why is "collecting data" listed as on topic, however, when this question about collecting data is posed, it's put on hold as off-topic?

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Your question concerns looking for existing datasets rather than generating data of your own, but please note that

Questions about obtaining particular datasets are off-topic (they are too specialized)

(at https://stats.stackexchange.com/help/on-topic).

The Beta Open Data site most likely would be interested in fielding such questions.

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  • $\begingroup$ Thanks for the feedback. $\endgroup$ – Ben Plont Apr 22 '15 at 18:17
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The sort of things that are on-topic are the statistical aspects of data-collection methods: sampling schemes, surveys, experimental design, &c. So if you want to investigate whether patients with some disease have higher blood pressure than normal, CV would be the right place to ask about choosing an appropriate sample size; but not about how to use a sphygmomanometer, or where to find data on the range of normal blood pressure.

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  • $\begingroup$ I think the confusion lies in that experimental design is actually its own item on this list, perhaps suggesting to readers that data collection doesn't mean what we take it to mean. Perhaps one item is more appropriate, e.g. "data collection (i.e. experimental design, sampling methods, surveys, etc.)" $\endgroup$ – WetlabStudent Apr 29 '15 at 0:30

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