[FRIAM] imputation

glen gepropella at gmail.com
Tue Feb 6 10:42:53 EST 2024

> In email correspondence seen by Retraction Watch and a follow-up Zoom call, Heshmati told the student he had used Excel’s autofill function to mend the data. He had marked anywhere from two to four observations before or after the missing values and dragged the selected cells down or up, depending on the case. The program then filled in the blanks. If the new numbers turned negative, Heshmati replaced them with the last positive value Excel had spit out. 
> [...]
> But it got worse. Heshmati’s data, which the student convinced him to share, showed that in several instances where there were no observations to use for the autofill operation, the professor had taken the values from an adjacent country in the spreadsheet. New Zealand’s data had been copied from the Netherlands, for example, and the United States’ data from the United Kingdom. 

Wow. I mean, I use different types of imputation all the time. And although they're expressing shock about the process in that first paragraph, it's not outlandish (assuming you disclosed it in the paper). That he used Excel at all makes me sad. 8^D And the copying data between countries might even be considered reasonable for "synthetic data", were it done carefully (described, and justified in the methods section).

We got all these chicken littles worried about AI generated content, when what we really have to worry about is Excel Abuse. How is ChatGPT any different from Autofill? Haptic prompting?

ꙮ Mɥǝu ǝlǝdɥɐuʇs ɟᴉƃɥʇ' ʇɥǝ ƃɹɐss snɟɟǝɹs˙ ꙮ

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