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Data Services: R

Describes numeric data resources and services

R Videos

Screencast versions of the workshops listed above. Maximize the viewer size and resolution for the best results...

Intro to R, Session 1 - Statistical Functions

Intro to R, Session 2 - Graphics

Intro to R, Session 3 - Data Manipulation

Time Series in R

R Workshop Materials

The Introduction to R workshops are split into three parts:

Session 1 - Statistical Techniques: Descriptive Statistics, Regression, Significance, Finding Additional Packages

Session 2 - Graphics:  comparison of graphing techniques of basic R, lattice, and ggplot2 packages

Session 3 - Data Manipulation:  Data Import and Transformation

plus an extra session on Time Series.

Click on the links below to download the materials.

Data Visualization

Data Visualization now has its own page.

Special Topics

R scripts for Special Topics workshops

Workshop Survey

R Workshop Schedule

Rutgers University Libraries Data Services Workshop Series (New Brunswick)

January 2016

This Spring, Ryan Womack, Data Librarian, will repeat the series of workshops on statistical software, data visualization, and data management, as part of the Rutgers University Libraries Data Services.   A detailed calendar and descriptions of each workshop are below.  This semester each workshop topic will be repeated twice, once at the Library of Science and Medicine on Busch Campus, and once at Alexander Library on College Ave.  These sessions will be identical except for location. Sessions will run approximately 3 hours.  Workshops in parts will divide the time in thirds.  For example, the first SPSS, Stata, and SAS workshop would start with SPSS at 12, Stata at 1, and SAS at 2.  You are free to come only to those segments that interest you.  There is no need to register, just come!


Location: The Library of Science and Medicine (LSM on Busch) workshops will be held in the Conference Room on the 1st floor of LSM on Mondays from 12 to 3 pm.  The Alexander Library (College Ave) workshops will be held in room 413 of the Scholarly Communication Center (4th floor of Alexander Library) from on Tuesdays from 1:10 to 4:10 pm.

For both locations, you are encouraged to bring your own laptop to work in your native environment.  Alternatively, at Alexander Library, you can use a library desktop computer instead of your own laptop.  At LSM, we will have laptops available to borrow for the session if you don’t bring your own.  Room capacity is 25 in both locations, first come, first served.

If you can’t make the workshops, or would like a preview or refresher, screencast versions of many of the presentations are already available at  Additional screencasts are continually being added to this series.

Calendar of workshops

Monday (LSM)


12 noon – 3 pm

  Tuesday (Alexander)


1:10 pm -4:10 pm

January 25 Introduction to SPSS, Stata, and SAS January 26
February 1 Introduction to R February 2
February 8 Data Visualization in R February 9
February 15 Special Topics:


Time Series in R, Survival Analysis in R, Big Data in Brief

February 16


Description of Workshops:

§ Introduction to R (February 1 or February 2) – This session provides a three-part orientation to the R programming environment.  R is freely available, open source statistical software that has been widely adopted in the research community.  Due to its open nature, thousands of additional packages have been created by contributors to implement the latest statistical techniques, making R a very powerful tool.  No prior knowledge is assumed. The three parts cover:

  • Statistical Techniques: getting around in R, descriptive statistics, regression, significance tests, working with packages
  • Graphics:  comparison of graphing techniques in base R, lattice, and ggplot2 packages
  • Data Manipulation:  data import and transformation, additional methods for working with large data sets

Additional R resources, including handouts, scripts, and screencast versions of the workshops, can be found here:

R is freely downloadable from


§ Data Visualization in R  (February 8 or February 9) discusses principles for effective data visualization, and demonstrates techniques for implementing these using R.  Some prior familiarity with R is assumed (packages, structure, syntax), but the presentation can be followed without this background.  The three parts are:

  • Principles & Use in lattice and ggplot2: discusses classic principles of data visualization (Tufte, Cleveland) and illustrates them with the use of the lattice and ggplot2 packages.  Some of the material here overlaps with Intro to R, pt 2, but at a higher level.
  • Miscellany of Methods: illustrates a wide range of specific graphics for different contexts
  • 3-D, Interactive and Big Data: presentation of 3-D data, interactive exploration data, and techniques for large datasets

Additional R resources can be found here:

R is freely downloadable from


§ Special Topics (February 15 or February 16) covers a few different specialized areas.  The three parts presented during the afternoon workshop are not related.

Of related interest:  There is also a Digital Humanities Workshop Series this spring, covering topics including text analysis, network analysis, and digital mapping. See for information on the topics and schedule.


About R

R is open source software for statistical analysis.  Being open source (Gnu GPL licensed) doesn't just mean that the software is free.  It means that you can use it for a variety of applications, and install it virtually anywhere you'd like, without any restrictions.  Open source also means that the code for all statistical procedures and analysis can be independently checked and verified.  The activity community of R users is constantly developing new add-on packages that use the latest techniques, which you are free to do as well.  And, being free, you can always have access to the latest version of the software, no matter where you are.

R is also a programming language, which makes it easy to document, reuse and reproduce all the steps of your statistical analysis. 

You can get R, and full documentation on R, at or by downloading from any CRAN mirror (Comprehensive R Archive Network).

Looking for more justification?  Read The One Tool I Couldn't Live Without and Why Use R? A Grad Student's 2 cents.

R Learning Links

Guides and Tutorials
Searching for R on the Internet
More Information
Enjoy R!

The R Help System

Help Commands within R
 • help.start() - launches interactive help system
 • help(function) or ?function launch the manual pages
   describing a function
 • example(function) provides detailed examples
 • for help on a whole package, try library(help=packagename)
 • apropos and (deep vs. fuzzy search, respectively)
 • vignette("mypackage")

R Tips and Tricks

These are some miscellaneous useful and interesting links that may help you accomplish some specific tasks in R.

Data Librarian

Ryan Womack
Alexander Library

169 College Avenue

New Brunswick, NJ 08901 USA

Website / Blog Page
Subjects:Data, Economics