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Discussion list for using R (a language and environment for statistics) in psychology research

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The Psych-R list is an open email list for peer-support among people using R for work in the psychological arena.

R is a free language and environment for statistics which is being used increasingly worldwide. The system comprises a core program and support modules and a base set of packages that extend this. On top of this are an enormous set of packages for specialist statistical techniques or application areas including the Bioconductor project focused on genetic and related research. There are a number of packages for psychometric and other techniques often used in the psychological arena.

However, most of the packages have been written on low or near zero budgets and so are documented from the perspective of the expert who wrote the code. This can be inscrutable at worst, or not very helpful for relative newcomers at best, and creates a need for others to write supporting documentation or help the package maintainer provide documentation that helps a wider user base. Similarly, there is a real need for a mutual support system in the spirit of the R project's open source social organisation. For general R issues and for development of R this is provided by the R-help and R-devel email lists but R-help can be overwhelming in its activity and range of subjects and expertise and there seems to be a need for complementary support lists such as Psych-R.

Joining the list is an undertaking to abide by the general rules for all JISCmail lists AND the specifics for Psych-R which are simple:

  1. postings should be on topic,
  2. the aim is non-commercial, so any postings about commercial courses, training, consultation etc. should be absolutely specific to the use of R in the psychological arena and not excessive, members posting such topics are strongly encouraged to show their commitment to the spirit and theme of the list by also posting other contributions,
  3. the list language is English but be very respectful of the advantage you may have (and we as list owners have) if English is your first or a fluent language for you and help others for whom it is not a language of early fluency: these are often the people contributing most to the R project,
  4. more generally, please keep all postings respectful: this doesn't exclude disagreement but this should be specific and to the topic, not against individuals,
  5. humour is welcomed but beware that this introduces overloaded linguistic operators and interpersonal and social complexity that is often dangerous in Email lists between strangers: be quick to apologise or explain if humour goes awry or upsets others!

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