Learning how to code in one language or another is very on trend at the moment for people of all ages and within the scientific community it is no different. The inclusion of statistical programming into our technical arsenal allows palaeontologists to conduct and automate analyses that previously would have to be have been done manually and could potentially involving many different software packages. The only limit now being your imagination (and RAM).
What follows is a series of articles specifically designed to guide the novice programmer through the world of R (other languages are available). Starting with the basics of the terminology and syntax of the R language and how to create publication quality figures then moving through commonly used statistical (i.e. correlations and comparisons) and palaeontological (i.e. phylogenetic comparative methods) techniques along with the packages that make these analyses possible.
All the necessary datasets are provided and all code is presented in a way that can be directly copied and run in the R interface to produce the correct results or figures shown. Finally, if you are sitting there thinking that there is no way you could learn how to code, trust me it’s not as hard as it looks.