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Writing R Packages

Workshop Overview

In this course, you will learn how to write your own R packages. We will start by demonstrating the basic steps of developing and publishing an R package using a sample package written by Dr. Mack. You will then have time to practice adding new features and getting packages ready for submission to CRAN.

Learning Objectives

By the end of the workshop participants should:

  • Understand the anatomy of an R package
  • Know how to start writing and documenting a new R package
  • Know how to add and test/debug new features to an existing R package
  • Know how to publish R packages on GitHub and CRAN

Course Prerequisites

This is an introduction to writing your own R packages, not an introduction to R programming! You should already be comfortable with installing and using packages from CRAN, reading help files, writing conditional expressions (if/else, for loops, etc.), writing functions, and doing other common programming tasks with R. A familiarity with ggplot2 and GitHub would also be helpful. If you have attended one of the 2-day R workshops at UCSF or ar familiar with most of the content here, you should be ready to go. Contact karla.lindquist@ucsf.edu for questions.


This course uses R and RStudio. You must have these both installed on your laptop in advance of the workshop:

We also strongly encourage you to sign up for a GitHub account if you do not already have one. It's free! Join here.


Steve Mack, PhD is a Scientist at the Children's Hospital Oakland Research Institute, and Adjunct Assistant Professor at UCSF.
Karla Lindquist, PhD is the Scientific Lead for the Data Science Initiative in the UCSF Library.

For UCSF Faculty:

Additional seats reserved for UCSF Faculty. Register at this link

Related LibGuide: Bioinformatics and Statistics Resources by Karla Lindquist

Thursday, February 28, 2019
10:00am - 1:00pm
Mission Hall 1406
Mission Bay
  Bioinformatics and Statistics     Data Science Initiative     Programming  
Registration has closed.

Event Organizer

Profile photo of Karla Lindquist
Karla Lindquist