Focusing on developing practical R skills rather than teaching pure statistics, Dr. Kurt Taylor Gaubatz's A Survivor's Guide to R provides a gentle yet thorough introduction to R. The book is structured around critical R tasks, and focuses on applied knowledge, rather than abstract concepts. Gaubatz's easy-to-read approach helps students with little or no background in statistics or programming to develop real-world R skills through straightforward coverage of R objects and functions. Focusing on real-world data, the challenges of dataset construction, and the use of R's powerful graphing tools, the guide is written in an accessible, sympathetic, even humorous style that ensures students acquire functional R skills they can use in their own projects and carry into their work beyond the classroom.

Sorting and Selecting Data

Sorting and selecting data

Sorting and conditionally selecting parts of a data set is central to most R projects. R is a very effective tool for both of these processes. Unlike a click-and-drag spreadsheet program, it has the advantage of allowing you to leave the original data unaltered. A record of data transformations is maintained in an R command file that will allow for quickly re-creating specific forms of the data set for analysis. Replicability is ensured.

In this chapter, we'll start by looking at several techniques for selecting specific sets of variables and observations. The important thing about this process is that it can, itself, be data driven. We'll learn how to set up selection ...

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