Getting started with R

So you’ve decided to begin using R, but you don’t know where to… well… actually start.

Fear not! Although it may look intimidating at first, many others have navigated this path before you (and most survived).  Thankfully, there is a huge amount of free material available to assist you moving from a R newbie to a R master in no time at all!

We’ve collected a bunch of references and links to help you get started.

Online Resources

Tutorials, Guides & Courses

Coursera R Programming A four week course for learning to use R, complete with video lectures, and interaction with online other students.  Part of the “Data Science Specialization” on Coursera, you can take the course for free or pay a small fee and earn a Verified Certificate to put on your CV. Highly recommended.

Twotorials A series of two minute video tutorials for those who like their R in bite-sized pieces.

The icebreakeR An extensive and easy to read guide to using R for data analysis.  Starts right from the beginning, but also includes some more advanced material. Covers many useful statistical topics.

The R Primer A short and handy document detailing how to install R, introduction to basic concepts, plotting, importing and exporting data, and other common R tasks.  About 10 years old now, but still contains some very relevant information.

simpleR A guide to using R for introductory statistics.

The R Inferno An epic adventure through the wonderful, although sometimes mind-bending, world of R.

R for Beginners As the name suggests, if you are a beginner, this is a great place to start.  A relatively short guide that covers most of the basics to using R for statistical analysis and producing graphics.

Handy Sites

The R Project The center of the R universe. Download the latest version of R, read the FAQs, browse The R Journal, or work your way through the large number of helpful R manuals. Plenty of fun for a rainy weekend.

Cookbook for R Some easy-to-follow recipes to follow for many common R tasks and problems.

UCLA R Resources A collection of useful resources and links for learning and using R.

Quick-R Great resource that covers many of the fundamental concepts of R.  Well structured and easy to follow.  Lots of code snippets and plenty of accompanying explanation.

Advanced R The companion website for Hadley Wickam’s “Advanced R” book (as the name suggests, maybe steer clear of this for a while if you are a beginner)

Revolution Analytics Our sponsors!  Revolution Analytics sponsor R User Groups all around the world. The website is packed with useful information and tips for learning and using R.

RStudio Homepage of the powerful integrated development environment for R.  It’s very good and continues to get even better.

R-bloggers A blog that collates R news and tutorials from all over the web.

Stack Overflow As you have probably already discover, searching for R help on the web can be difficult.  If you’ve got a question about how to do something in R, or are stuck with a particular problem, there is a very good chance that several others have already faced that same issue.  If an answer exists, it’s likely to be on Stack Overflow.  Use the tags to search for R-specific questions and answers.  It is advised to do your homework well before asking a new question.

This is in no way an exhaustive list.  If one of your favourites is missing, please let us know or share it in the comments below.

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