Basic Statistics Fact Sheet

This might be an older fact sheet (originally published in 2008), but it’s still an incredibly helpful guide: Highlighted Fact Sheet

I like it for a few reasons. Firstly, it’s written in plain English. There’s not a single equation in it, and the whole paper is only 3 pages.

Secondly, and probably more importantly, it really justifies why we use statistics and takes the time to define some basic concepts including experimental error, statistical significance, randomization, and replication. Read the quote below for an example of their easy-to-understand definitions (note that treatment and observation had already been defined):

Experimental error– differences in observations from treatments due to environmental conditions that cannot be controlled by the experimenter (differences in soil texture, topography, soil compaction, rainfall, nutrient status, disease infestation, etc.)

This is a fact sheet written for people who see statistics presented and for those who might want to set up a trial of their own, focusing on stats that are actually used in agriculture. If you haven’t seen an LSD, the information on the third page is enough to allow you to interpret LSDs presented at industry meetings on your own instead of having to rely only on a potentially-biased speaker.

The narrow focus of this fact sheet is part of what makes it an easy read, but can also be a downside as we see more and more presentations use regression in their analysis.

Enjoy this thought provoking read, and share it with your stats-intimidated friends!

The link at the top is to the copy of the fact sheet I’ve highlighted. This is the link to the original on the OSU Extension Ag Crops Team website:



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