packagesurvey: Navigating the R package universe

Author: Julia Silge License: MIT

Build Status

There are now more than 11,000 packages on CRAN, and R users must approach this abundance of packages with effective strategies to find what they need and choose which packages to invest time in learning how to use. At useR!2017, I contributed to an organized session focused on discovering, learning about, and evaluating R packages. In preparation for that session, I ran a brief online survey in the spring of 2017 to ask R users how they currently discover and learn about R packages. This package contains the results of that survey.


This package can be install from GitHub using devtools.



The survey results are available in this package in the package_survey data object.


There were 1039 respondents to the survey. You can easily explore how many respondents chose each answer.


package_survey %>%
    mutate(total = n_distinct(respondent)) %>%
    count(answer, total) %>%
    arrange(desc(n)) %>%
    mutate(proportion = scales::percent(n / total)) %>% 
    select(-total, -n) %>%
    kable(col.names = c("How do you currently discover and learn about R packages",
                        "% of respondents who chose each answer"))

|How do you currently discover and learn about R packages |% of respondents who chose each answer | |:---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------|:--------------------------------------| |Social media such as blogs, R-bloggers, Twitter, Slack, or GitHub contacts |79.8% | |General search websites such as Google and Yahoo |57.0% | |Your personal network, such as colleagues and professors |41.6% | |Books, textbooks, or journal articles (JSS, JOSS, R-Journal) |31.9% | |Conferences, meet-ups, or seminars |24.1% | |CRAN Task Views |21.8% | |Email lists such as r-help, r-packages, or r-pkg-devel |15.3% | |R-specific search websites such as METACRAN ( or Rdocumentation ( |11.1% | |Other (send ideas to @juliasilge on Twitter!) |4.2% | |R packages built for search such as the sos package |2.2% |

You might also be interested in when R users responded to the survey.

package_survey %>%
    distinct(respondent, .keep_all = TRUE) %>%
    ggplot(aes(response_time)) +
    geom_histogram() +
    labs(x = NULL,
         y = "Number of R users",
         title = "Responses to survey on package discovery over time")

plot of chunk unnamed-chunk-4

This project is released with a Contributor Code of Conduct. By participating in this project you agree to abide by its terms.

juliasilge/packagesurvey documentation built on May 7, 2019, 9 p.m.