Navigating the R Package Universe

Today, the enormous number of contributed packages available to R users outstrips any given user’s ability to understand how these packages work, their relative merits, or how they are related to each other. We organized a plenary session at useR!2017 in Brussels for the R community to think through these issues and ways forward. This session considered three key points of discussion. Users can navigate the universe of R packages with (1) capabilities for directly searching for R packages, (2) guidance for which packages to use, e.g., from CRAN Task Views and other sources, and (3) access to common interfaces for alternative approaches to essentially the same problem.

Julia Silge , John C. Nash , Spencer Graves

Supplementary materials

Supplementary materials are available in addition to this article. It can be downloaded at

CRAN packages used

sos, CRANsearcher, utils, pkgdown, lfe, optimx

CRAN Task Views implied by cited packages

Econometrics, Optimization


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For attribution, please cite this work as

Silge, et al., "The R Journal: Navigating the R Package Universe", The R Journal, 2018

BibTeX citation

  author = {Silge, Julia and Nash, John C. and Graves, Spencer},
  title = {The R Journal: Navigating the R Package Universe},
  journal = {The R Journal},
  year = {2018},
  note = {},
  doi = {10.32614/RJ-2018-058},
  volume = {10},
  issue = {2},
  issn = {2073-4859},
  pages = {558-563}