[R] Packages - a great resource, but hard to find the right one.

Gavin Simpson gavin.simpson at ucl.ac.uk
Wed Nov 21 16:07:13 CET 2007

On Wed, 2007-11-21 at 09:24 -0500, John Sorkin wrote:
> Fellow Rers,
> Please forgive me if I have posted this to the wrong R list serve.
> Over the course of the years that I have used R and participated in
> this list server, I have noted a large number of questions and answers
> that direct people to specific packages. The multitude of packages is
> one of the great strengths of R. Unfortunately there is no (or at
> least I am not aware of) any single source that lists all available
> packages and gives a synopsis of what each package does. One can
> install  and load packages one-by-one and look at the help pages to
> see what each package does, but this is at best an inefficient and a
> worst a very frustrating task. Might there be a way to put together a
> searchable database that will allow a user to easily search for a
> given function or technique in all contributed packages?

You can get a synopsis from CRAN if the package description has been
filled in in sufficient detail.

Also, you can try ?RSiteSearch and give it terms for something you are
looking for, or view Jonathan Baron's web site directly:


which includes CRAN packages, R functions (base and other packages in
distribution) and a few other sources, inc. Bioconductor.

There are also Task Views, which try to pool information for specific




> Thanks,
> John 
> P.S. Many thanks to the writers and maintainers of R packages and the
> many people who contribute to the R list server.
> John Sorkin M.D., Ph.D.
> Chief, Biostatistics and Informatics
> Baltimore VA Medical Center GRECC,
> University of Maryland School of Medicine Claude D. Pepper OAIC,
> University of Maryland Clinical Nutrition Research Unit, and
> Baltimore VA Center Stroke of Excellence
> University of Maryland School of Medicine
> Division of Gerontology
> Baltimore VA Medical Center
> 10 North Greene Street
> GRECC (BT/18/GR)
> Baltimore, MD 21201-1524
> (Phone) 410-605-7119
> (Fax) 410-605-7913 (Please call phone number above prior to faxing)
> jsorkin at grecc.umaryland.edu
> Confidentiality Statement:
> This email message, including any attachments, is for th...{{dropped:6}}
> ______________________________________________
> R-help at r-project.org mailing list
> https://stat.ethz.ch/mailman/listinfo/r-help
> PLEASE do read the posting guide http://www.R-project.org/posting-guide.html
> and provide commented, minimal, self-contained, reproducible code.
 Dr. Gavin Simpson             [t] +44 (0)20 7679 0522
 ECRC, UCL Geography,          [f] +44 (0)20 7679 0565
 Pearson Building,             [e] gavin.simpsonATNOSPAMucl.ac.uk
 Gower Street, London          [w] http://www.ucl.ac.uk/~ucfagls/
 UK. WC1E 6BT.                 [w] http://www.freshwaters.org.uk

More information about the R-help mailing list