Methods Bites

Blog of the MZES Social Science Data Lab

How to write your own R package and publish it on CRAN

R is a great resource for data management, statistics, analysis, and visualization — and it becomes better every day. This is to a large part because of the active community that continuously creates and builds extensions for the R world. If you want to contribute to this community, writing a package can be one way. That is exactly what we intended with our package overviewR. While there exist many great resources for learning how to write a package in R, we found it difficult to find one all-encompassing guide that is also easily accessible for beginners. Continue reading

LaTeX and Overleaf

LaTeX is a high quality typesetting system that that facilitates the production of well-formatted document. It has become highly popular in academic settings as an alternative to common typewriting systems (e.g., Word). This Methods Bites Tutorial by our team member Cosima Meyer and Dennis Hammerschmidt walks you through your first steps in LaTeX (using Overleaf) and provides you with a hands-on guide for writing scientific papers using an easily accessible template. Continue reading

Efficient Data Management in R

The software environment R is widely used for data analysis and data visualization in the social sciences and beyond. Additionally, it is becoming increasingly popular as a tool for data and file management. Focusing on these latter aspects, this Methods Bites Tutorial by Marcel Neunhoeffer, Oliver Rittmann and our team members Denis Cohen and Cosima Meyer illustrates the workflow and best practices for efficient data management in R. Continue reading

Applied Bayesian Statistics Using Stan and R

2020-01-30 64 min read tutorials [Denis Cohen]

Whether researchers occasionally turn to Bayesian statistical methods out of convenience or whether they firmly subscribe to the Bayesian paradigm for philosophical reasons: The use of Bayesian statistics in the social sciences is becoming increasingly widespread. However, seemingly high entry costs still keep many applied researchers from embracing Bayesian methods. Next to a lack of familiarity with the underlying conceptual foundations, the need to implement statistical models using specific programming languages remains one of the biggest hurdles. In this Methods Bites Tutorial, Denis Cohen provides an applied introduction to Stan, a platform for statistical modeling and Bayesian statistical inference. Continue reading

Shiny Apps: Development and Deployment

Shiny Apps allow developers and researchers to easily build interactive web applications within the environment of the statistical software R. Using these apps, R users can interactively communicate their work to a broader audience. In this Method Bites Tutorial, Konstantin Gavras and Nick Baumann present a comprehensive recap of Konstantin Gavras’ (University of Mannheim) workshop materials to illustrate how Shiny Apps enable vivid data presentation as well as its usefulness as an analytical tool. Continue reading

Advancing Text Mining with R and quanteda

Everyone is talking about text analysis. Is it puzzling that this data source is so popular right now? Actually no. Most of our datasets rely on (hand-coded) textual information. Extracting, processing, and analyzing this oasis of information becomes increasingly relevant for a large variety of research fields. This Methods Bites Tutorial by Cosima Meyer summarizes Cornelius Puschmann’s workshop in the MZES Social Science Data Lab in January 2019 on advancing text mining with R and the package quanteda. Continue reading

Studying Politics on and with Wikipedia

The online encyclopedia Wikipedia, together with its sibling, the collaboratively edited knowledge base Wikidata, provides incredibly rich yet largely untapped sources for political research. In this Methods Bites Tutorial, Denis Cohen and Nick Baumann offer a hands-on recap of Simon Munzert’s (Hertie School of Governance) workshop materials to show how these platforms can inform research on public attention dynamics, policies, political and other events, political elites, and parties, among other things. Continue reading

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