The Rising Tide of R

I do not know to what extent R, the Statistical Computing Environment,  is being used in the social science community (or by fellow political scientists for that matter) but in a variety of disciplines R is becoming the tool for data analysis.  Despite the fact that it has a steep learning curve, it is certainly worth diving into.  It is a very powerful language, and as such it poses a real challenge to the commercially available software such as SPSS or SAS.  Although commercial software has its own advantages, R is superior in many ways.  Not only is it freely available, it also has a wide and growing community of users that keep adding to its arsenal.  Even though a user doesn’t need all the features R offers, it has something for everyone who deals with data.  The magazine Nature has published an article that should give you a good idea about R.  Click on the following link to read it: