Next steps

We have barely touched the surface of what R has to offer. If you want to take your skills to the next level, here are some topics to investigate. However let us make this simple: you need to read “R for Data Science”.


“R for Data Science” by Garrett Grolemund and Hadley Wickham is a good modern introduction to R, and can be read online. This covers use of a collecition of packages called the Tidyverse. The dplyr package is of particular importance.

Hadley Wickham also has several excellent books covering specific topics online.

See “The R Book” by Michael J. Crawley for general reference.

“Modern Applied Statistics with S” by W.N. Venable and B.D. Ripley is a well respected reference covering R and its predecessor S.

“Linear Models with R” and “Extending the Linear Model with R” by Julian J. Faraway cover linear models, with many practical examples. Linear models, and the linear model formula syntax ~, are core to much of what R has to offer statistically. Many statistical techniques take linear models as their starting point, including limma for differential gene expression, glm for logistic regression (etc), survival analysis with coxph, and mixed models to characterize variation within populations.

Cheat sheets

More packages

  • CRAN has hundreds of contributed packages which can be installed with install.packages.
  • Bioconductor is another huge collection of packages with a biological focus.

Life outside R

Not all data analysis is done in R. The Software Carpentry workshops give a broader introduction to computing in science.

Q&A sites

Stackoverflow-style sites are great for getting help:


The Monash Bioinformatics Platform offers:

  • Weekly drop in sessions where you can get help with R, or general bioinformatics problems.
  • Informal Wednesday afternoon talks, which often relate to R.
  • Courses on various topics through the year.

Join the mailing list to hear about future events.

Also, the COMBINE student and early career researcher organization runs Software Carpentry workshops.