Getting Help in R

Joshua Wiley, M.A.

Senior Analyst — Elkhart Group

In R: basic

This assumes that you already have R installed.

In R: args

Know the functions but not the arguments? Use tab completion or args

> args(lm)
function (formula, data, subset, weights, 
    na.action, method = "qr", model = TRUE, 
    x = FALSE, y = FALSE, qr = TRUE, 
    singular.ok = TRUE, contrasts = NULL, 
    offset, ...) 

In R: sos

The sos package offers additional searching options to find functions with a specific title or purpose. This is done using either findFn or ???

# if you do not have, uncomment and install
# install.packages("sos")
findFn("lm", maxPages = 2)
# equivalenty

In R: sos

Which opens a web browser like this

In R: example

example — run the examples for a function

> example(mean)
mean> x <- c(0:10, 50)

mean> xm <- mean(x)

mean> c(xm, mean(x, trim = 0.10))
[1] 8.75 5.50	

example(mean, local=TRUE) to not affect your current workspace

In R: demo

demo — to see demonstrations available in a particular package

> demo(package = "stats")
Demos in package 'stats':

glm.vr         Some glm() examples from V&R
               with several predictors
lm.glm         Some linear and generalized
               linear modelling examples
               from `An Introduction to
               Statistical Modelling' by
               Annette Dobson
nlm            Nonlinear least-squares using
smooth         `Visualize' steps in Tukey's

In R: demo

To run a particular demo, use the name and package

> demo("lm.glm", package = "stats")

	---- ~~~~~~

Type  <Return>	 to start : 

In R: vignette

vignette — package vignettes are more detailed introductions

> vignette(package = "MCMCglmm")
Vignettes in package 'MCMCglmm':

CourseNotes    MCMCglmm CourseNotes (source,
Overview       MCMCglmm Overview (source,

Open the course notes as a PDF
vignette("CourseNotes", package="MCMCglmm")

Online: finding the tools

Online: introductions

Online: questions and answers



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