- Free and open source (think of science in developing countries)
- Good online-documentation (much better than some commercial software such as Mplus)
- Lively community of users (forums etc.)
- Visualization capabilities (ggplot …)
- Cooperates with other programs and programming language (e.g. Python, )
- Popularity (See popularity statistics on books, blogs, forums)
- RStudio as powerful integrated development environment (IDE) for R
- Evolves into a scientific work suite optimizing workflow (replication, reproducability etc.)
- Institutions/people (Gary King, Andrew Gelman etc.)
- Economic power (Revolution Analytics, Microsoft R Open)
Where to study it
- If you haven’t used R sofar it’s necessary that you learn some basics in R.
- Introduction to RStudio
- Data Camp (free trial but it is commercial)
- Try R: A short interactive intro to the language can be found here: http://tryr.codeschool.com/
- Swirl: Learn R interactively within R itself: http://swirlstats.com/
- Akos Mate ECPR R Basic for the next 2 months
Install R on your Machine
Below some notes on the installation and setup of R and relevant packages on your own computer:
- Install Rtools for Windows machines from CRAN (https://cran.r-project.org/bin/windows/Rtools/).
- If you are using OS X, you will need to to install XCode, available for free from the App Store. This will install a compiler (if you don’t have a compiler installed) which will be needed when installing packages from GitHub that require compilation from C++ source code.
- Install the latest version of R from CRAN (https://cran.r-project.org/).
- Install the latest version of RStudio (https://www.rstudio.com/products/RStudio/). RStudio is the editor we’ll rely on, i.e. we’ll write code in RStudio which is subsequently sent to and run within R.
- Install the latest versions of various packages that we need. You can follow this setup.
Set up the Environment on your local machine
- Once R-Studio is installed copy and paste the following code
- Be sure everything run smoothly
- Try to familiarize with R if needed
- If you are not able to figure it out you can create an account on https://rstudio.cloud/
- It is R in the cloud (Virtual Machine)
- It usually resolves most of the incompatibilities
- If you are still not able to run R and R Studio
- We will figure it out in class ;)