Wednesday, January 8, 2014

Elements of Statistical Learning: A Stunningly Good Job of LaTeX to pdf to Web

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A very Happy New Year to all! Here's a little thing to start us off.

I happened to be thinking about principal-component regression vs. ridge regression yesterday, so as usual I consulted the Hastie-Tibshirani-Friedman (HTF) classic, Elements of Statistical Learning. Where did I get that gorgeous book pdf? (Look through it; the form is as wonderful as the substance, and see also the similarly-wonderful new James, Witten, Hastie and Tibshirani (JWHT), Introduction to Statistical Learning, with Applications in R.) Both are freely (and legally!) available as pdf on the web. Interestingly, both are also for sale by Springer in the usual ways.

So what's up? In path-breaking arrangements, HTF and JWHT negotiated deals in which they're free to post the book and Springer is free to sell it. And by all accounts the outcomes have been superb for all. Thanks, HTF and JWHT, for promoting best-practice science, and thanks Springer, for doing the right thing.  May many more follow suit.

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