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The R Primer [Paperback]

Claus Thorn Ekstrom
4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)

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Book Description

August 29, 2011 1606238744 1

Newcomers to R are often intimidated by the command-line interface, the vast number of functions and packages, or the processes of importing data and performing a simple statistical analysis. The R Primer provides a collection of concise examples and solutions to R problems frequently encountered by new users of this statistical software.

Rather than explore the many options available for every command as well as the ever-increasing number of packages, the book focuses on the basics of data preparation and analysis and gives examples that can be used as a starting point. The numerous examples illustrate a specific situation, topic, or problem, including data importing, data management, classical statistical analyses, and high-quality graphics production. Each example is self-contained and includes R code that can be run exactly as shown, enabling results from the book to be replicated. While base R is used throughout, other functions or packages are listed if they cover or extend the functionality.

After working through the examples found in this text, new users of R will be able to better handle data analysis and graphics applications in R. Additional topics and R code are available from the book’s supporting website at

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Editorial Reviews


"A ‘primer’ is supposed to be a book that covers very elementary needs. This book does so in a quite special way: It provides 142 problems with solutions, called ‘rules’ … The book efficiently addresses the many impediments against simply ‘go do it’ for people who have already done statistical analyses with software other than R and want to quickly learn how to do the same things in R. … Do I consider this book worth reading/buying ? Yes I do! … [it provides] a collection of useful starting points on how to accomplish practically relevant tasks for applied statistics in R."
—Ulrike Grömping, Journal of Statistical Software, January 2013

… contains a number of interesting self-contained examples, each illustrating a specific situation. One of the salient features is that it covers importing data, handling data, and creating graphics. … Valuable for readers interested in solving statistical problems using R. Summing Up: Recommended.
CHOICE Magazine, April 2012

"This book provides a good introduction to R, using a clear layout and detailed, reproducible examples. An ideal tool for any new R user. … A wide range of topics are covered, making the book suitable for a variety of readers, from undergraduate students to professionals new to R. … an extremely helpful introduction to a very useful statistical package."
—Claire Keeble, Journal of Applied Statistics, 2012

"… a nice starting point for learning R, and suitable for self-study provided the reader has some background in statistics."
—Olle Häggström, International Statistical Review, 2012

About the Author

Claus Thorn Ekstrøm is an associate professor of statistics in the Department of Basic Sciences and Environment and leader of the Center for Applied Bioinformatics at the University of Copenhagen. His research interests include genetic marker error detection, simulation-based inference, image analysis, and the analysis of microarray DNA chips, metabolic profiles, and quantitative traits for complex human families.

Product Details

  • Paperback: 299 pages
  • Publisher: Chapman and Hall/CRC; 1 edition (August 29, 2011)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1606238744
  • ASIN: 1439862060
  • Product Dimensions: 0.7 x 5.6 x 8.5 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 12.8 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,109,364 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent starting point for new users November 16, 2011
This an great book for people who are starting to learn R but wish to
know the solution to many common and advanced problems.

The problems listed are straightforward (for example "Import a SAS
dataset", "Fit a multiple regression model", "Plot a 3d plot") and the
solutions/examples are consise and provide a great starting point for
getting your own analysis done.

All the example code works and the book covers topics from simple
statistics to more advanced topics. Not only does it show how to solve
the problems but it also explains how to interpret the output.

This is a book I keep turning to for a quick fix or a good starting point.
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4.0 out of 5 stars Terrible binding; decent content November 3, 2012
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
The copy of this book that I received is printed incorrectly. Odd numbered pages are on the left. It seems like a mistake as the page numbers are at the top edge of the page, closest to the binding. Chapters start on the left-hand page. There's a broad margin on the outside edge of the page and a narrow margin on the inside such that you have to almost break the binding to read to the inside edge of the page.

But it isn't a mistake, since the pages are numbered correctly.

At any rate, the examples are very useful. The book is written in a cookbook style so you can quickly find the things you want based on the task you're trying to complete. The book is useful as a tutorial since it's well-ordered and you can follow along the examples in order for at least the first few chapters. Some of the examples aren't as detailed as they could be, and it might be better to find a more detailed book to pursue deeper knowledge. But this book certainly gives enough information to get started.
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