Reminder about Excel and research 

Never use Excel for important research

It is malware!

> Gene name errors are widespread in the scientific literature

genomebiology.biomedcentral.co

> The spreadsheet software Microsoft Excel, when used with default settings, is known to convert gene names to dates and floating-point numbers. A programmatic scan of leading genomics journals reveals that approximately one-fifth of papers with supplementary Excel gene lists contain erroneous gene name conversions.

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Reminder about Excel and research 

Microsoft Excel: It's fine to use!

As long as you watch it every single second to be sure that it didn't convert something into something else inappropriately

And you're okay with every single cell having potentially extensive code inside it, where you can't really tell that it's code and not a number until you click on it

And you're okay with a lot of the functions it performs not being reproducible unless you write down the steps for what you clicked on

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Reminder about Excel and research 

And you're okay with the file being corrupted sometimes and you just sort of lose all your data

And you're okay with Excel files not even being compatible with Excel on other platforms in some cases

And you're okay with it sometimes including meta-data that you don't mean to include

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Reminder about Excel and research 

So like, if we're talking about you weighing pros and cons of different printer models that you want to buy, or making a monthly budget that's for your own reference, probably okay

But if you're doing research, a CSV and an R script will get you where you want to go and with a lot fewer surprises

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Reminder about Excel and research 

@bgcarlisle I learned my lesson with Excel very early on, when I took home an Excel 2000 file from school to open on my family's home PC, only to have it refuse to open due to incompatibility between, somehow, the version of Excel 2000 at home.

Reminder about Excel and research 

@bgcarlisle Also, doing anything involving the RNG is completely non-reproducible. Since it re-generates values every time you do *anything*

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