Methods Bites

Blog of the MZES Social Science Data Lab

Using Geospatial Data in R

2021-06-11 17 min read tutorials [Stefan Jünger Denis Cohen]

The use of geospatial data – data that can be mapped using geographic information systems (GIS) – has become increasingly widespread in the social sciences. Applications not only extend to the analysis of classical geographical entities (e.g., policy diffusion across spatially proximate countries) but increasingly also to analyses of micro-level data, including respondent information from georeferenced surveys or user trace data from Tweets. In this Methods Bites Tutorial, Stefan Jünger (GESIS) and Denis Cohen (MZES) show how to retrieve, manage, and visualize geospatial data in R. Continue reading

regplane3D: Plotting 3D regression predictions in R

2021-03-19 19 min read tutorials [Denis Cohen Nick Baumann]

The interpretation and presentation of empirical findings from (generalized) linear models has come a long way in the social sciences. Researchers increasingly visualize substantively meaningful quantities of interest such as expected values, first differences, and average marginal effects and consistently include uncertainty estimates in the form of analytical, simulation-based, or bootstrapped confidence intervals. However, existing interpretations and presentations are typically restricted to bivariate patterns which show (changes in) expected values as function of a single predictor, holding all else constant. This can be a significant limitation, especially when substantive inquiries focus on the interplay of two variables in predicting an outcome. To interpret and visualize such applications effectively, researchers must extend their presentations to include a third dimension. In this Methods Bites Tutorial, Denis Cohen and Nick Baumann introduce and showcase the regplane3D package, a tool for plotting 3D regression predictions in R. 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