The R System -- Commentary and Links

Reasons for Using R

R is free (copy it down from the internet). Use is covered by the Free Software Foundation's GNU General Public License, which is designed to guarantee the freedom of users to develop and give away the software;
R has state of the art statistical and graphical abilities, and strong scientific computational abilities, with new features regularly added;
R has a vibrant and rapidly growing user community, who contribute by discussion on various email lists, by adding new abilities, and by writing books and papers that are intended to help other users;
R has become a system of choice for statistical researchers1. It is used increasingly for the development of software in many different areas of science and commerce;
R runs on wide variety of systems: Windows, MacOS X, UNIX (including FreeBSD), and Linux;
R makes well-designed publication-quality plots that can incorporate mathematical symbols and formulae as needed.
1The R system has had, increasingly in the past five years, a leading role in statistical software innovation. Each year, the American Statistical Association Statistical Computing and Graphics Section makes a $1000 cash award (the John M Chambers award) for statistical software written by, or in collaboration with, an undergraduate or graduate student. All winning entries from 2003 to 2010 have been for software that is associated with R.

Canberra R Users Group

This group is organised by Felix Andrews and John Maindonald. Go to

Preparation for Courses in R

From time to time I run courses on R, and on R-based statistical analysis. This document suggests preparatory reading and exercises that will help in gaining familiarity with the R command line. It lists packages that will be required or may be useful. There is a link to a document that comments on R setup under Windows.

Getting help with R

Web site for R (CRAN = Comprehensive R Archive Network)

Download, Installation, Setup of R (the side panel will link to many other Youtube videos)

The RSeek meta search engine can be used to locate R information from right across the web.

Stack Overflow is a good resource for seeking answers to R-related questions.
The RStudio site Getting help with R has further useful links. Note in particular:
The Carnegie Mellon Open Learning Initiative free online Introduction to Statistics has an option that uses R for exercises and labs.

The R Videos channel, run by Drew Conway, has links to R-related videos.

For statistical questions, try perhaps CrossValidated Q & A
Note also
R Podcasts

Analysing the World of Analytics (Website maintained by Bob Muenchen)

Other links that may interest current or prospective R users

Official R email lists  R-downunder

R-related books

New York Times article on R   Follow-up to the NY Times article in the NZ Herald

Revolution Analytics (a commercial enterprise; has useful links)

Open source R in commercial revolution - article from The Register

Top ten RRReasons R is bad for you?

Notes and Overheads from AMSI/SSAI ASC2008 Satellite R Workshop

John Maindonald's web site

International Meetings

useR! is held annually. Additionally, R is a strong focus of the more specialized Directions in Statistical Computing meeting, held every two years.
Commentary on talks at useR! 2009 (July 7-10 in Rennes, France), and at DSC2009 (July 13-14 in Copenhagen)
email: john.maindonald AT