Getting Help with R
There are a number of good resources available on the web for both learning R and seeking answers to questions about how to accomplish various tasks. This article summarizes a few of the more helpful ones.
If you are just learning R there are a number of good places to start:
- This basic R tutorial takes you step-by-step through the core functions of R.
- The CRAN Introduction to R provides a more complete and detailed overview of the entire R language.
- This article provides a nice introduction to R for those coming from other languages.
- The R Reference Card provides a useful quick reference for how to perform common tasks in R.
- The Carnegie Mellon Open Learning Initiative has a free online Introduction to Statistics course has an option to do the exercises and labs using R.
If you have some familiarity with R and want to learn about the system or particular features in more depth these resources might be helpful.
- This Stack Overflow question provides some pointers to good books for learning the R language.
- The CRAN Contributed Documentation page lists other manuals, tutorials, etc. provided by users of R.
- Once you've gained some familiarity with R, The R Inferno provides an entertaining roadmap to some of the deeper subtleties of the language and how to work with it most effectively.
- The Google R Style Guide provides some guidelines for writing readable and maintainable R code.
A great place to start for any question about R is the RSeek meta search engine, which provides a unified interface for searching the various sources of online R information. If there is an answer to your question already available, there is a good chance that RSeek can locate it.
If you aren't able to locate an answer using RSeek, the following are good places to find an answer or ask a question:
- The R-help mailing list is a very active list with questions and answers about problems and solutions using R. Before posting to the list you can also search the list archives to see if an answer already exists.
- Stack Overflow is also becoming an increasingly important resource for seeking answers to questions about R.
- If you a have question that is more about statistical methodology there are also plenty of R users active on the the CrossValidated Q&A community.
There are thousands of R packages available from CRAN but navigating them all can be a challenge. The following resources can help find the packages most appropriate for your tasks:
- CRAN Task Views provides comprehensive summaries of the packages most commonly used in various disciplines.
- crantastic is a community site for R packages where you can search for, review, and tag CRAN packages.
News and Information
The R community is growing rapidly and there are lots of new things happening all the time. If you want to stay on top of what's happening we recommend keeping up with the following sites:
- R-bloggers is a news site that combines posts from over 140 R bloggers. Almost everything that happens in the R community is mentioned and discussed on R-bloggers.
- Users in the R community also frequently record videos of presentations, seminars, and user-groups. The R Videos channel run by Drew Conway is a great way to keep up with all of the available videos.