Resources for learning R (from workshops to reference cards)

December 7, 2016

(This article was first published on Ista Zahn (Posts about R), and kindly contributed to R-bloggers)

A list of resources for learning R in preparation for CS109 this Spring.

A wealth of R resources are available, and I’m sure I’ve missed some really good ones. If you have a favorite tutorial or resource that is not listed here, please email me or submit a bug report or pull request to


Many organizations (including Harvard) offer R workshops. If you would like to attend an R workshop, here are some good places to start.
List of R workshops, including those offered by udemy, coursera, and others.
R workshops offered by RStudio.
R workshops offered by the Institute for Quantitative Social Science (IQSS) at Harvard.



There are some great efforts to provide interactive self-paced R tutorials in your browser or in R itself.
Interactive R tutorials with feedback, right in your web browser!
Interactive R tutorials with feedback in R.
Interactive R tutorials in your web browser. Includes a ggplot tutorial.


Many R tutorials have been collected at The list of contributed documentation at is a great place to start.

There are several excellent tutorials not listed on Some of these are listed below.
“Quick-R” aims to get you up and running in R quickly.
Notes on “Using R for psychological research”.
“R for Data Science” by R luminary Hadley Wickham. Includes a ggplot tutorial.
Advanced R programming by Hadley Wickham.
A comprehensive RMarkdown tutorial.

Reference cards

RStudio maintains a collection of high-quality cheat sheets at (these are also accessible from the Help -> cheat-sheets menu in the RStudio IDE). Additional resources are listed below.
A numpy cheat sheet for R users, but it works just as well the other way around.
An R cheat sheet for MATLAB users.
Another R cheat sheet for MATLAB or Python users.

R package discovery

The Comprehensive R Archive Network (CRAN) is the main R package repository. The web interface is not very sophisticated, so I recommend using the resources listed below instead.
R Task Views are curated lists of R packages and functions organized by topic.
METACRAN is a friendly, search-able web interface to CRAN.
A search-able interactive interface to R and R package documentation.

Blogs, forums and mailing lists

R related blogs are aggregated at is by far the most popular help forum for R. Use the [r] tag or navigate directly to

Although the R mailing lists have been losing traffic to stackoverflow there are still plenty of people responding to questions. You can subscribe to the main R-help mailing list at

To leave a comment for the author, please follow the link and comment on their blog: Ista Zahn (Posts about R). offers daily e-mail updates about R news and tutorials on topics such as: Data science, Big Data, R jobs, visualization (ggplot2, Boxplots, maps, animation), programming (RStudio, Sweave, LaTeX, SQL, Eclipse, git, hadoop, Web Scraping) statistics (regression, PCA, time series, trading) and more...

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