Introductory R


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Sample chapters - Scripts and data sets - Information for lecturers - Online resources for R beginners - Contact, discuss, review


Introductory RIntroductory R book cover

A Beginner's Guide to Data Visualisation, Statistical Analysis and Programming using R

R is now the most widely used statistical software in academic science and it is rapidly expanding into other fields such as finance. R is almost limitlessly flexible and powerful, hence its appeal, but can be very difficult for the novice user. There are no easy pull-down menus, error messages are often cryptic and simple tasks like importing your data or exporting a graph can be difficult and frustrating. Introductory R is written for the novice user who knows a little about statistics but who hasn't yet got to grips with the ways of R. This new edition is completely revised and greatly expanded with new chapters on the basics of descriptive statistics and statistical testing, considerably more information on statistics and six new chapters on programming in R. Topics covered include

  • A walkthrough of the basics of R's command line interface
  • Data structures including vectors, matrices and data frames
  • R functions and how to use them
  • Expanding your analysis and plotting capacities with add-in R packages
  • A set of simple rules to follow to make sure you import your data properly
  • An introduction to the script editor and advice on workflow
  • A detailed introduction to drawing publication-standard graphs in R
  • How to understand the help files and how to deal with some of the most common errors that you might encounter.
  • Basic descriptive statistics
  • The theory behind statistical testing and how to interpret the output of statistical tests
  • Thorough coverage of the basics of data analysis in R with chapters on using chi-squared tests, t-tests, correlation analysis, regression, ANOVA and general linear models
  • What the assumptions behind the analyses mean and how to test them using diagnostic plots
  • Explanations of the summary tables produced for statistical analyses such as regression and ANOVA
  • Writing functions in R
  • Using table operations to manipulate matrices and data frames
  • Using conditional statements and loops in R programmes.
  • Writing longer R programmes.

The techniques of statistical analysis in R are illustrated by a series of chapters where experimental and survey data are analysed. There is a strong emphasis on using real data from real scientific research, with all the problems and uncertainty that implies, rather than well-behaved made-up data that give ideal and easy to analyse results.

5 star review on Amazon.co.uk: "R is a world class tool for data analysis, but is intimidating when you first try to get going. This book guides you through that initial period with aplomb, and a heathy sprinkling of humour too. How do you even get your data into R ? This book gets you there and sets you sailing.".


Where can I buy it?

Amazon Kobo Get it on Google Play ibookstore pdf
epub

Introductory R is available for direct download to your ebook reader or tablet from Amazon, Kobo, and in the iBookstore for approximately 5, $8 or 6. You can buy a pdf or an epub file from Gumroad for a bit less (see the whiney section on pricing below).

The epub can be read on a computer or tablet using an epub reader app or on almost all ebook readers. Please note that if you buy it directly from Gumroad you'll need to be able to load it onto your ebook reader yourself: if you don't think you can manage this then you'll have to go with the pdf or pay a bit more and get it directly onto your ebook reader.

Whiney section on pricing The pricing of these books is largely determined by the pricing policies of the ebook sellers. If you look at their literature you'll see that Amazon let you sell ebooks and that they charge a 30% fee for this, but this is not actually a true representation of the real charges they impose. Firstly, they impose a "download charge", and secondly they charge a 65% fee in a number of territories such as India, where I sell a lot of books. This 65% fee can be avoided if you sign up to a deal whereby you agree only to sell your ebook through Amazon... but I prefer not to do that. Amazon and Google will also discount your ebook without even the courtesy of an email to the author, and also require that the book not be sold at a cheaper price at another ebook seller. From my point of view the best deal is if you buy the pdf or the epub file direct through Gumroad. The Gumroad files are also DRM free.



 Sample chapters

You can download and read five sample chapters from Introductory R free of charge. The full chapter listing is:

  1. A first R session
  2. Basics
  3. Importing Data and Record Keeping
  4. Decrypting the Help Files and Error Messages
  5. Graphs
  6. Basic Statistical Concepts
  7. What is Statistical Testing?
  8. The Chi-squared Test and a Classic Dataset on Smoking and Cancer
  9. Comparing Immune Responses Between two Caterpillar Species using a t-test
  10. Correlation Analysis
  11. Using Linear Regression to Analyse TB trends in the UK
  12. Yeast Sex and ANOVA
  13. General Linear Models, Whale Brains and Dive Duration
  14. Basic Programming in R
  15. Vector and Matrix Operations
  16. Loops
  17. Conditional Statements
  18. Coding and Optimising Conway's Game of Life
  19. An Interactive Line Fitting Function
  20. Appendix 1: R Colour Names
  21. Appendix 2: R Resources
  22. Appendix 3: Smiley Faces and Rainbows
  23. Appendix 4: Solutions to exercises

Scripts and data sets from the book




Information for lecturers

If you're teaching a course on R and you'd like to recommend Introductory R as a course textbook, email me and we can discuss special pricing deals.



Online resources for R beginners


I've put together a page with links to some of the best online resources available for the R novice, including online books and guides and video tutorials.


Contact, discuss, review

If you have any specific questions or comments please drop me a line

If you have general questions or ones that other people might be interested in as well then there is a facebook page for the book - we can discuss things there if you like.

If you've read the book and found it helpful, a review in the usual places is always very much appreciated.