A normal distribution with area under the curve bookshelf

The Biostats Booklist

The Biostats Booklist is a crowdsourced list of statistics resources for biologists by biologists. Anyone is welcome to add their own recommendations to the list, be it a basic introductory statistics book or a how-to guide for a particular piece of software or programming language (R is a particularly popular choice at the moment). The list is curated to remove duplicate entries and ensure that access remains public.

Statistics mood graphic
Copyright: bloomua / 123RF Stock Photo

Biostats Booklist Origins

I created the booklist while preparing my honours thesis project in plant community ecology in spring 2017. After diving into the literature I found myself fascinated by the theory of plant-plant interactions, but overwhelmed by the math. My solution was to learn! I put out a call for statistics textbook recommendations on Twitter and received a flood of responses. I wanted to store these recommendations in an easy to access and public way, so I began collecting the recommendations in a Google spreadsheet. This spreadsheet was the beginning of The Biostats Booklist.

One From The List

After beginning the list, I enrolled in a course on experimental design and statistics and was amused to find that the required text, The Analysis of Biological Data (2nd Edition) by Michael Whitlock and Dolph Schluter, was already on The Biostats Booklist. As the course progressed I quickly realized why it had been recommended. This book is an easy to read introductory text, with chapters concise enough to read in a single sitting. Each chapter concludes with a thorough summary, providing quick a quick reference for formulae and assumptions of statistical tests. And as a bonus, the book is full of hilarious footnotes and has a companion website for R.

The list continues to grow, and I regularly receive messages of praise for curating this list. However, the real praise goes to those continually helping out their fellow scientists and students by adding more resources. If you’re stuck on a calculation, looking for a textbook for a course, or have a student that is struggling, check out the list!

Hannah Brazeau

Hannah A. Brazeau recently graduated from the BSc Honours in Biology program at Algoma University in Sault Ste. Marie, Ontario where she did her honours thesis in plant community ecology. She will be joining the University of New Brunswick in Fredericton as an MSc in Biology student in the fall of 2018.

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