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.  Fortunately, much of what you need to know is covered in our article on Getting Started with R, which includes information and links to various resources for learning the language, asking questions, and participating in the R community. The rest of this article augments the resources described there.

Learning R

If you are just learning R there are a number of good places to start:

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.

Asking Questions

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:

Finding Packages

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:

  • RStartHere, our guide to some of the most useful R Packages that we know about, organized by their role in data science.
  • 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.