sos: Searching Help Pages of R Packages

The sos package provides a means to quickly and flexibly search the help pages of contributed packages, finding functions and datasets in seconds or minutes that could not be found in hours or days by any other means we know. Its findFn function accesses Jonathan Baron’s R Site Search database and returns the matches in a data frame of class “findFn”, which can be further manipulated by other sos functions to produce, for example, an Excel file that starts with a summary sheet that makes it relatively easy to prioritize alternative packages for further study. As such, it provides a very powerful way to do a literature search for functions and packages relevant to a particular topic of interest and could become virtually mandatory for authors of new packages or papers in publications such as The R Journal and the Journal of Statistical Software.

Spencer Graves , Sundar Dorai-Raj , Romain François

CRAN packages used

sos, sos, sos, sos, WriteXLS, RODBC, sos, fda, deSolve, PKfit, sos, sos, sos, sos

CRAN Task Views implied by cited packages

DifferentialEquations, Pharmacokinetics


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For attribution, please cite this work as

Graves, et al., "The R Journal: sos: Searching Help Pages of R Packages", The R Journal, 2009

BibTeX citation

  author = {Graves, Spencer and Dorai-Raj, Sundar and François, Romain},
  title = {The R Journal: sos: Searching Help Pages of R Packages},
  journal = {The R Journal},
  year = {2009},
  note = {},
  doi = {10.32614/RJ-2009-017},
  volume = {1},
  issue = {2},
  issn = {2073-4859},
  pages = {56-59}