rOpenSci News Digest, June 2024

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Dear rOpenSci friends, it’s time for our monthly news roundup!

You can read this post on our blog. Now let’s dive into the activity at and around rOpenSci!

rOpenSci HQ

rOpenSci takes over maintenance of the {goodpractice} package

The {goodpractice} package was started by Gábor Csárdi in 2016 to auto-magically provide advice on good practices for your own R package. rOpenSci’s Dev Guide has recommended using it from the first day we started writing it in 2018. The package is now a central part of our own internal {pkgcheck} system, which is run automatically on all new submissions, and we recommend that all authors use our ‘pkgcheck-action’ GitHub action, which also runs {goodpractice}.

We are pleased to announce that rOpenSci has now taken over maintenance of the {goodpractice} package, thanks to the approval both of the original author Gábor, and the previous maintainers at The package has now been moved to our ropensci-review-tools GitHub organization, which holds all software used in our automated checking system. This also means that documentation for the package is now built by our own documentation system, and will live from here on at

rOpenSci at CZI Open Science 2024

From June 10 to June 14 Noam Ross, Mauro Lepore and Yanina Bellini Saibene participated on the CZI Open Science 2024 event.

On Wednesday, we showcased the Champions Program, sharing Champions’ projects, training materials, and the results of the two-year pilot. We had the chance to chat and learn about many other projects during these sessions.

Yanina participated in the closing panel on Case Study Session 3: Demonstrating Impact of Open Science to explore the challenges of using traditional academic metrics to measure project impact and emphasize alternative approaches. In her talk, Yani introduced the work done by different rOpenSci members, the tools and metrics we use to capture their stories, and the impact we achieve together.

The rOpenSci community at upcoming events

Meet rOpenSci team and community members at events in the near future!


Read all about coworking!

Join us for social coworking & office hours monthly on first Tuesdays! Hosted by Steffi LaZerte and various community hosts. Everyone welcome. No RSVP needed. Consult our Events page to find your local time and how to join.

And remember, you can always cowork independently on work related to R, work on packages that tend to be neglected, or work on what ever you need to get done!

Software 📦

New packages

The following three packages recently became a part of our software suite:

  • goodpractice, developed by Mark Padgham together with Karina Marks, Daniel de Bortoli, Gabor Csardi, Hannah Frick, Owen Jones, and Hannah Alexander: Give advice about good practices when building R packages. Advice includes functions and syntax to avoid, package structure, code complexity, code formatting, etc. It is available on CRAN.

  • mregions2, developed by Salvador Fernandez-Bejarano together with Lotte Pohl: Explore and retrieve marine geo-spatial data from the Marine Regions Gazetteer and the Marine Regions Data Products, including the Maritime Boundaries. It has been reviewed.

  • rOPTRAM, developed by Micha Silver: The OPtical TRapezoid Model (OPTRAM) derives soil moisture based on the linear relation between a vegetation index and Land Surface Temperature (LST). The Short Wave Infra-red (SWIR) band is used as a proxy for LST. See: Sadeghi, M. et al., 2017. .

Discover more packages, read more about Software Peer Review.

New versions

The following nine packages have had an update since the last newsletter: goodpractice (v1.0.5), beastier (v2.5.1), c14bazAAR (5.0.0), comtradr (v1.0.1), DataPackageR (v0.16.0), dynamite (1.5.2), readODS (v2.3.0), rgbif (v3.8.0), and targets (1.7.1).

Software Peer Review

There are fourteen recently closed and active submissions and 6 submissions on hold. Issues are at different stages:

Find out more about Software Peer Review and how to get involved.

On the blog

Software Review

Tech Notes

  • A fresh new look for R-universe! by Jeroen Ooms. We have given the WebUI for R-universe a big refresh. This is the biggest UX overhaul in since the beginning of the project.

Calls for contributions

Calls for maintainers

If you’re interested in maintaining any of the R packages below, you might enjoy reading our blog post What Does It Mean to Maintain a Package?.

Calls for contributions

Also refer to our help wanted page – before opening a PR, we recommend asking in the issue whether help is still needed.

Package development corner

Some useful tips for R package developers. 👀

Make your functions compa-tibble

Do the functions of your package use data.frame as input? Do not miss Hugo Gruson’s post Make your functions compa-tibble as users of your package might well try and pass a tibble, which you probably don’t want to be a showstopper!

Use lintr to enforce your package’s function preferences

Do you want to commit to using the cli package instead of base R messaging? You can configure the lintr settings for your codebase to pick up usage of certain functions, to inform you along with the preferred replacement. See, as an example, pkgdown’s lintr configuration file and the corresponding GitHub Actions workflow (from r-lib/actions). This neat safeguard makes use of the Undesirable function linter.

More metadata on CRAN

CRAN pages of packages now show…

A pure GitHub preview workflow for pkgdown websites

If you use a gh-pages branch on GitHub to store the source of your pkgdown website, and use GitHub Pages to deploy it, you could extend that workflow to create (and then clean) subdirectories in that branch to host previews of pull requests. Check out this GitHub Actions workflow file by Garrick Aden-Buie.

Tips for refactoring test files

Do you put the object as close as possible to the related expectation(s)? Read about this, and other, tips for refactoring test files.

One more tool for checking inputs of your R functions

Do you check inputs of your R functions? Beside the aforelinked R-hub blog post by Hugo Gruson, Sam Abbott, Carl Pearson, you might be interested in the experimental stbl package by Jon Harmon.

Last words

Thanks for reading! If you want to get involved with rOpenSci, check out our Contributing Guide that can help direct you to the right place, whether you want to make code contributions, non-code contributions, or contribute in other ways like sharing use cases. You can also support our work through donations.

If you haven’t subscribed to our newsletter yet, you can do so via a form. Until it’s time for our next newsletter, you can keep in touch with us via our website and Mastodon account.

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