Top Ten Must-Have R Packages for Social Scientists

December 29, 2009

(This article was first published on Culture, Statistics, and Society, and kindly contributed to R-bloggers)

The political scientist Drew Conway has come up with a useful list of his ten “must-have” R packages for social scientists. I agree with him for the most part, and his list highlights the usefulness of R (vis-a-vis Stata) for social network analysis (see statnet/igraph) and graphics (see ggplot2). In some respects, his list also underscores the fact that R is arguably more suited for sociological data analysis than Stata, given the former’s unique packages not only for social network analysis but also multilevel modeling and  a variety of non-parametric methods (including more recent forms of matching and classification techniques), which were especially popular in sociology before the “path analysis” revolution of the 1960s.

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