Open Consulting Hours*

Free for KU affiliated students, faculty and staff. This is a service funded by the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences and the KU Libraries.

Open consulting is available Monday through Thursday from 1-5 p.m. in Watson Library, room 470A. Time is allocated in 30 minute blocks. It is not allowed to sign up for a 1 hour long block. If you cannot meet in-person at the library, you can attend remotely using Zoom. Please read below for those instructions. 

To Schedule an Appointment:

Use your Google account to choose an appointment time on our Google Calendar.  We hope you will visit, discuss your questions, then do some work on your own and schedule another appointment when new questions arise. It is strongly encouraged to include a description of the help you are requesting in the "Description" field of the appointment block when you schedule an appointment. This will help our GRAs prepare as needed before meeting with you. 

In Open Consulting, we can discuss all types of statistical and methodological problems. We don't write code for clients, but we can review output and offer suggestions.  A separate fee-for-service framework is available through which clients can hire us to prepare code or conduct analysis. Please see the Project Consulting page.

The expertise of the consultants will vary from day to day; sometimes, we have experts available in Mplus, R, Stata, SAS, and so forth. Consultants will generally be able to answer "general framework" questions, while detailed questions may require us to do some research and get back with you with an answer.  In addition, please feel free to join the methods email discussion list, kuant-l. Members are allowed to ask questions.

Open Consulting Hours are especially good for specific questions like:

  • What does this output from SAS mean to you?
  • If I have this data in Excel, can I open it in R?
  • Do you know what this error message means in Mplus?
  • Do you think my estimates "make sense"?  Do they shed light on my questions?
  • What does this "p" value mean?

We urge clients to make their questions as specific as possible.  We can't generally help with questions like "what is statistics?", but we try when we can.

There is no "limit" on the number of questions that a single person can ask (except in the sense that Open Consulting is available only for a regulated amount of time).  Please feel free to return at a later date for follow up questions.

  • Write down your questions and the methods you want to use. .
  • Where are you getting your data?  We highly recommend that you bring your computer or a jump-drive with your data.
  • Software - What programs are you using? 

Remote Interactive Consulting

We have access to Zoom remote sessions (KU Zoom Support). We don't support Zoom, for help call KU IT at 864-8080.  Users who install the Zoom program and register their accounts in their computers are able to join interactive sessions.  We have not found an automatic way to launch sessions. In the meanwhile, we have two ideas about how to make this work.

  1. You launch a meeting, we'll join you.  When users create the google appointment, there is as "Description" field in which a Zoom session identifier can be provided. If a client writes, "The zoom session is 234 234 234," then we'll join your meeting.  Alternatively, phone 785-864-3353 to tell us what the Zoom session number is.
  2. You phone 785-864-3353 and tell us your KU login name.  We launch a meeting, and then invite you to join it within Zoom.

We know there is supposed to be an easier way with Zoom Room, but we haven't made it work correctly.



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