Usage on CV

R-based questions are frequently migrated between Cross Validated (CV) and Stack Overflow (SO). CV fields questions with statistical content or of statistical interest and SO fields questions of programming and implementation.

Your question belongs on CV when any of the following apply:

  • You're not sure what the right procedure is to use on your data.

  • You are open to alternative R-based solutions to your problem of data analysis.

  • You would like help interpreting and understanding the output of an R procedure.

  • You are expecting answers that would be useful in other statistical analysis environments besides just R.

Your question belongs on SO when any of the following apply:

  • is the only applicable tag.

  • You already know exactly what analysis or visualization or data processing you want to do, but only need advice about how to get it done in R.

  • You want to know how to get your data into a format suitable for R.

  • You need to know the R syntax for a particular model. [This is marginal, because often such questions are covering up deeper modeling issues. If you are unsure of the model, not just the syntax, post your question on CV!]


R is an open source programming language and software environment for statistical computing and graphics. R is an implementation of the S programming language combined with lexical scoping semantics inspired by Scheme. R was created by Ross Ihaka and Robert Gentleman and is now developed by the R Development Core Team. The R environment is easily extended through a packaging system on CRAN.

Official CRAN Documentation

Additional free resources include:

  • PDF HTML An Introduction to R, a basic introduction for beginners.
  • PDF HTML The R Language Definition, a more technical discussion of the R language itself.
  • PDF HTML Writing R Extensions, a development guide for R.
  • PDF HTML R Data Import/Export, a data import and export guide.
  • PDF HTML R Installation , an installation guide (from R source code).
  • PDF HTML R Internals, internal structures and coding guidelines.

Free Resources

Free resource materials include:

  • Wikibook The R Programming wikibook, a collaborative textbook
  • PDF The R Inferno by Patrick Burns
  • Try R - A web-based R tutorial
  • R by example
  • CRAN maintains an extensive list of free contributed documentation in a range of languages.
  • The R Journal lists research articles and summaries of major revisions.

We also maintain a list of internet based resources for R on meta.CV here.

Other Resources

Recommended additional R resources include:

Frequently Asked Questions

Lists of frequently asked questions include:

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