Introducing Mark Padgham, rOpenSci’s new Software Research Scientist

December 3, 2019

By:   Stefanie Butland  |   Mark Padgham  |   Karthik Ram  |   Noam Ross

We’re thrilled to be introducing a new member of our team. Mark Padgham has joined rOpenSci as a Software Research Scientist working full-time from Münster, Germany. Mark will play a key role in research and development of statistical software standards and expanding our efforts in software peer review, enabled by new funding from the Sloan Foundation. He will work closely with Noam Ross, rOpenSci Leadership team member, and Scientist at EcoHealth Alliance and Karthik Ram, rOpenSci Project Lead.

rnassqs: accessing USDA agricultural data via API

November 26, 2019

By:   Nicholas Potter

The United States Deparment of Agriculture National Agricultural Statistics Service (USDA-NASS) provides a wide range of agricultural data that includes animal, crop, demographic, economic, and environmental measures across a number of geographies and time periods. This data is available by direct download or queriable via the Quick Stats interface. While the Quick Stats tool puts a large amount of data into the hands of users, the interface can be frustrating, especially when trying to access more than 50,000 records or hoping to automate downloading data when new data is released.

NumFOCUS recognizes Melina Vidoni and Will Landau for their contributions to rOpenSci

November 25, 2019

By:   Stefanie Butland

rOpenSci thrives because of volunteer contributions from community members - submitting and reviewing R packages, serving as editors for software peer review, writing blog posts, sharing information about packages and resources, contributing code and documentation and answering others’ questions. Recently our fiscal sponsor, NumFOCUS, gave us an opportunity to nominate two contributors for recognition at the NumFOCUS annual summit. Sometimes all we can do is publicly express our gratitude for the people who help make our software robust and sustainable, and make our community a welcoming place that adds value to people’s experiences.

Community Call - Last Night, Testing Saved my Life

November 12, 2019

By:   Stefanie Butland

To the uninitiated, software testing may seem variously boring, daunting or bogged down in obscure terminology. However, it has the potential to be enormously useful for people developing software at any level of expertise, and can often be put into practice with relatively little effort. Our 1-hour Call will include two speakers and at least 20 minutes for Q & A. As someone with a background in science, not software engineering, Steffi LaZerte will share her experiences using automated testing in R to ensure that packages do what they’re supposed to do, on all the operating systems they’re supposed to do it on, and that they handle weird stuff gracefully.

rOpenSci Announces a New Award From The Gordon and Betty Moore Foundation to Improve the Scientific Package Ecosystem for R

November 6, 2019

By:   Karthik Ram

Today we are pleased to announce that we have received new funding from the Gordon and Betty Moore Foundation. The $894k grant will help us improve infrastructure for R packages and enable us to move towards a science first package ecosystem for the R community. You may have already noticed some developments on this front when we announced our automated documentation server back in June. Over the coming months we plan to roll out more tools and services to make it easier to maintain and distribute packages while capturing the impact of such work.

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