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The R Community


R is a global community of more than 2 million users and developers who voluntarily contribute their time and technical expertise to maintain, support and extend the R language and its environment, tools and infrastructure. At the center of the R Community is the R Core Group of approximately twenty developers who maintain R and guide its evolution. The official public structure for the R Community is provided by the R Foundation, a not for profit organization that ensures the financial stability of the R-project and holds and administers the copyright of R software and its documentation.

  • Maintain, support and enhance the R language
  • Extend the scope and power of the language by contributing packages of new R functions
  • Use R to create new applications in science and industry
  • Spread the word about the benefits of R
  • Help others get started with R

The R community embodies the virtues of the open source movement. It is welcoming, inclusive and, as a general rule, you are sure to find people active in the R Community to be informative and helpful. The community places a premium on transparency, sharing and creating high quality software.

If you are new to R, welcome. On behalf of the community we invite you to participate in a way that meets your needs and comfort level. You can find out what’s happing in the R world by tuning in to one or more of the daily blogs on R Bloggers or minute by minute by following R activities at #rstats on Twitter.

A great strength of the R Community is provided  by the more than 150 R user groups throughout the world that meet frequently to discuss new R packages and functions, present application and share code and best practices. Look below for a list of R user groups and a calendar of upcoming events.

R Community Calendar

Getting Help

If you are looking for help with technical questions about the language please consult the community site for frequently asked questions or ask for help on one of the several R mailing lists or Stack Overflow.

The Structure of the R Open Source Project

At the center of the R Open Source Project and R Community is R Core, a group of approximately twenty developers who maintain R and guide its evolution. The official public structure for the R Community is provided by the R Foundation, a not for profit organization with an impressive list of members and supporters. The R Foundation ensures the financial stability of the R-project and holds and administers the copyright of R software and its documentation.

A Very Brief History of R

R was first implemented by Robert Gentleman and Ross Ihaka, both faculty members at the University of Auckland, in the early 1990’s. Robert and Ross established R as an open source project in 1995. Since 1997 the R project has been managed by the R Core Group. R 1.0.0 was released in February 2000.

The R language was closely modeled on the S Language for Statistical Computing conceived by John Chambers, Rick Becker, Trevor Hastie, Allan Wilks and others at Bell Labs in the mid 1970s and made publically available in the early 1980’s. Ross Ihaka’s brief account of how R got started highlights some of the connections between R and S.