- Paperback: 124 pages
- Publisher: Oxford University Press (22 July 2012)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 0199601623
- ISBN-13: 978-0199601622
- Product Dimensions: 23.6 x 1 x 16.8 cm
- Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars See all reviews (14 customer reviews)
- Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 316,994 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
- See Complete Table of Contents
Getting Started with R: An Introduction for Biologists Paperback – 22 Jul 2012
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I've been using R for a few years now but have never come across an introductory guide as concise and accessible as this one. I shall be recommending it to our MSc students with glowing praise! (Dr Tim Fawcett, Centre for Research in Animal Behaviour (CRAB), University of Exeter)
The book would make the ideal text for a short course on data management and presentation - it truly packs an amazing amount of wisdom and wit between slim covers. (Graeme D. Ruxton, Trends in Ecology and Evolution)
I was engaged by the refreshing style of the authors, that while informal, gives the user clear step-by-step instructions for using the software. Apart from the clear biological leaning of the example data, this book is applicable to anyone learning R (even a statistician!). (Significance)
About the Author
Andrew Beckerman and Owen Petchey are Evolutionary Ecologists with over 20 years of combined experience using R for data analysis and visualisation. Andrew is a Senior Lecturer at the University of Sheffield, UK and Owen is an Assistant Professor at the University of Zurich, Switzerland.
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Top Customer Reviews
The strengths of the book are that its brief and not too benumbing. If you follow their instructions it will work and the authors are at pains to make things facile.
I suppose i can't criticize it for not providing information on how to draw more sophisticated graphs, for example using ggplot2, since that is not its intention. The graphs section is limited to mainly scatter plots and bar charts but it does cover error bars. Other R books tend to view error bars as something impure and taboo for some reason 'real' statisticians prefer things like box plots etc (also presented here). But lets face it most of us biologists have bar charts that need error bars and the authors show a way to do this (its not 'built into R')
I suppose the main criticism I would have is just the omission of making one concept crystal clear. They use data files presented in what is described as 'long' format. That means each column is a variable and each row pertains to the object under study. e.g. if measuring people's height, weight, hair colour then each person has a row and those variables are in columns. Sounds obvious but i have seen many people's data in excel including my own where one doesn't strictly adhere to that format. As long as the data is like that then everything will work in this book. There are R packages to change the format of data like reshape but its easy enough just to do it in excel for the beginner.
Kick-starting with R would probably be a more appropriate title.
We all know how hard is to move the first steps with R.
The advantages are ultimately worth the effort, but many beginners might just quit using it after spending days trying to make the software read the data (until realizing that the problem was probably a damn missing comma).
Or, after learning the basics (or trying to do so) by trial and error, they often start attending courses which are already one step ahead, while still lacking a real confidence in the basic skills.
At least, this was my personal experience.
Then I was lucky enough to step into this book.
This manual finally focuses on the very basics (and a bit more) step by step.
It is small enough (about 100 pages) to be not scary.
Most of all, THIS BOOK TEACHES A METHOD.
How to put data in R? What to do with data before analyzing them? How to do nice (and helpful) graphs? How to perform an analysis and interpret the results? How to handle warning and error messages? How to go through a help file without panicking?
Really, an excellent book for students and absolute beginners as well as for users that never had the opportunity of going through the basics from level zero.
You'll love it.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
This book is excellent for teaching yourself how to use R. Maybe slightly patronising at times, but all in all, I understand everything I've covered in the book so far which is... Read morePublished 10 months ago by BL
Written in a format that can be understood. If you look for help on line for r then there is a lot of snobbery, no so hearPublished 13 months ago by Bruce Forshaw
At last a book about R which focuses on my field of study. There are kerchillions of pieces of code for R, but this book whittles them down to that few thousand or so most used in... Read morePublished 14 months ago by JulieWright
Good. The language is perfect, buck lacks some useful informations.Published on 27 Nov. 2014 by Thiago Junqueira Izzo
Really great and practical intro to anybody new to R, found it easy to read and very usefulPublished on 30 Oct. 2014 by the 10th doctor
R' explained clearly good book for those struggling with the programme - go admit you arePublished on 4 May 2013 by mark @wigan
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