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R Consortium Q2 2024 Newsletter

Hello from the R Consortium! This quarterly newsletter puts together the latest updates about our organization’s activities, the progress each working group has made, upcoming R-related events, and recordings of past events. In short, all you need to know about our work to promote the R language and how we lead community initiatives. Please share this newsletter! 

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Table of Contents 

  • Technical Projects and Working Groups 
  • Annual Report 
  • Upcoming Events
  • Free R-related Technology and Industry Webinars
  • R Consortium Supports R User Groups Around the World!
  • Building Extended R Packages to Improve R Infrastructure

Technical Projects and Working Groups

ISC Projects

The Infrastructure Steering Committee (ISC) conducts two open grant cycles to evaluate proposals from the community for projects that the committee believes will contribute to the technical infrastructure of the R ecosystem. During the second grant cycle of 2023 the ISC funded the following seven projects with a total of $80,000.

  • Translating R to Nepali
  • Tooling for internationalization of R help pages
  • RStats Mastodon Server
  • Taking r-universe to the next level
  • Causal Inference in a Box
  • R Kafka Client
  • Accessibility Enhancements for the R Journal

The first grant cycle for 2024 has recently closed and the ISC is evaluating ten proposals which are collectively requesting more than $200,000. These proposals include translating a Public Health Model into R, adapting R-universe technology for deploying R packages, and upgrading or extending several key R packages. The ISC expects to notify the teams submitting successful proposals by May 1, 2024.

R Consortium Working Groups

In this section, we will highlight the progress of selected R Consortium working groups. This month we look at the R Submissions working group and the Risk Assessment workstream of the R Validation hub, which have recently achieved significant milestones.

The R Submissions Working Group

With the active participation of the FDA, the R Consortium R Submissions working group is developing a series of Pilot or test submissions to uncover the challenges that must be overcome in making “all R” regulatory submissions straightforward, routine, and reproducible over a minimum six-year time horizon. Each Pilot submission builds on the previous pilot and includes additional steps. The objective of Pilot 3 is to extend the work done in the Pilot 2 study, which included wrapping a Shiny application into the submissions package, to build the AdaM data set from raw data. For each submission effort, the FDA review team recreates the study from the submission package, evaluates the correctness and reproducibility of the results, and documents discrepancies from previous pilot submission packages that they may observe. 

In the most recent Pilot 3 submission, the FDA observed a discrepancy that was due to a difference in the coding of an imputation algorithm. The Pilot 3 statisticians used a subsetting algorithm that differed from the algorithm selected by the CDISC statisticians who built the ADaM data set used in Pilot 1 and Pilot 2. This was not a statistical error, but a failure to provide documentation at a sufficient level of detail for the FDA reviewers to make the appropriate adjustment. The episode illustrates the attention to detail required to achieve a smooth handoff to the FDA.

As the Pilot 3 team prepares their final submission, the Pilot 4 team is nearly ready with a submission package that will include the code required to unpack the package and have it deploy within a WebAssembly browser instance. 

For more information on the R submission working group please visit their website.

The R Validation Hub Risk Metric Framework

The riskmetric R package implements a framework to quantify an R package’s “risk of use” by assessing a number of meaningful metrics designed to evaluate package development best practices, code documentation, community engagement, and development sustainability. 

riskassessment is a shiny front-end for accessing the riskmetric framework. Features include the ability to manage reviewer privileges, explore package source files hands-on, automate decisions based on pre-set rules, and generate summary reports.

Recently, working with the R Consortium Rise Assessment team, ProCogia engineers deployed the reassessment application to a Posit Connect-powered implementation in the Azure cloud.

This new deployment should make it possible for anyone interested to experiment with the risk assessment approach to “R package validation”

The following credentials enable you to test drive the application.


Sample UID – PharmaUser

PWD – ProCon@123

For more information contact the Risk Metrics team.

Annual Report – Published

You can download the report here.

Upcoming Events

We are sponsoring or providing grants for most of the events listed below. A full list is available here. If you would like to attend one of the events on behalf of the R Consortium, please reach out to us here. If you attend, you’ll have a chance to get the official – and highly coveted – R Consortium sticker for your laptop!

2024 Sponsored Events

  • SatRdays London 2024 April 27 
  • New York R Conference May 16-17
  • R/Finance May 18
  • R/Medicine June 10-14
  • Cascadia R June 21-22
  • useR! 2024 July 8-11
  • PHUSE SDE July 25 
  • posit:conf August 12-14
  • BioC Europe September 4-6
  • EARL 2024 September 4-5
  • Shiny in Production October 9-10
  • IFoA Life October 14-16
  • R Government Fall 2024
  • PHUSE EU Connect 2024 November 10-13

Free R-related Technology and Industry Webinars

The R Consortium hosts a wide variety of webinars from experts who use R to help solve problems in many different industries. For a full list of our webinars, please see:  Here are just a few of the most recent R Consortium webinars. (Click on the image to get more details and a full webinar recording.)

R/Medicine: Quarto for Reproducible Medical Manuscripts  

New Webinar: Tidy Finance and Accessing Financial Data – R Consortium 

Escape the Data Dungeon: Unlock Scalable R Analytics and ML

R Consortium Supports R User Groups Around the World!

The R Consortium R User Groups (RUGS) Program is the primary vehicle for the R Consortium to award Social Infrastructure Grants. Social Infrastructure includes meetings, events, conferences, and other activities to strengthen the R Community. Find out how you can support your local R User Group  here: 

Here are a few recent examples of great R User Groups around the world that we support:

Aligning Beliefs and Profession: Using R in Protecting the Penobscot Nation’s Traditional Lifeways

“… I’m also exploring the possibility of starting a mini R coding group at the school. With students already exposed to basic coding through MIT’s Scratch, advancing to R seems a promising and exciting step.”

Angie Reed, Water Resource Planner, Penobscot Indian Nation

R for Public Health Data Analysis in Karachi, Pakistan 

“…I express gratitude to the R Consortium for their support on this transformative journey. Envisioning a significant impact on Pakistan, I am dedicated to constructing a vibrant open source community.”

Uzair Aslam, the founder of the Kariachi R User Group

R-Ladies Cotonou – A Community that Makes R Accessible for French-Speaking African Women 

“Empowering French-speaking African women with the power of R is our mission.”

Nadejda Sero, the founder of the R Ladies Cotonou chapter

R-Ladies Goiânia: Promoting Diversity and Inclusion in Local R Community 

“R language is widely used in Brazil across various sectors, including health, agriculture, and financial institutions. The primary reason for its popularity is the vast range of packages it offers and the structured control offered by CRAN, which enhances the language’s credibility and security.”

Fernanda Kelly, founder and organizer of the R-Ladies Goiânia

Building Extended R Packages to Improve R Infrastructure

A major goal of the R Consortium is to strengthen and improve the infrastructure supporting the R ecosystem. We seek to accomplish this by funding projects that will improve the technical infrastructure of R. Technical Infrastructure projects that have been funded include:

  • R-hub, a centralized tool for checking R packages
  • Testing DBI and improving key open source database backends
  • Improvements in packages such as mapview and sf
  • Improving Translations in R
  • Ongoing infrastructural development for R on Windows and macOS

If you are interested in finding out more, please see: 

Some recent project include:

Satellite Data with R: Unveiling Earth’s Surface Using the ICESat2R Package

Improving with R: Kylie Bemis Unveils Enhanced Signal Processing with Matter 2.4 Upgrade  

Get in Touch with the R Consortium!

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