[Rd] CRAN Server download statistics (Was: R Usage Statistics)

Fellows, Ian ifellows at ucsd.edu
Mon Nov 23 01:18:11 CET 2009

Hi All,

It seems that the question of how may people use (or download) R, and it's packages is one that comes up on a fairly regular basis in a variety of forums (There was also recent thread on the subject on Stack Overflow). A couple of students at UCLA (including myself), wanted to address the issue, so we set up a system to get and parse the cran.stat.ucla.edu APACHE logs every night, and display some basic statistics. Right now, we have a working sketch of a site based on one week of observations.


We would very much like to incorporate data from all CRAN mirrors, including cran.r-project.org. We would also like to set this up in a way that is minimally invasive for the site administrators. Internally, our administrator has set up a protected directory with the last couple days of cran activity. We then pull that down using curl.

What would be the best and easiest way for the CRAN mirrors to share their data? Is the contact information for the administrators available anywhere?

Thank you,
Ian Fellows

From: r-devel-bounces at r-project.org [r-devel-bounces at r-project.org] On Behalf Of Steven McKinney [smckinney at bccrc.ca]
Sent: Thursday, November 19, 2009 2:21 PM
To: Kevin R. Coombes; r-devel at r-project.org
Subject: Re: [Rd] R Usage Statistics

Hi Kevin,

What a surprising comment from a reviewer for BMC Bioinformatics.

I just did a PubMed search for "limma" and "aroma.affymetrix",
just two methods for which I use R software regularly.
"limma" yields 28 hits, several of which are published
in BMC Bioinformatics.  Bengtsson's aroma.affymetrix paper
"Estimation and assessment of raw copy numbers at the single locus level."
is already cited by 6 others.

It almost seems too easy to work up lists of usage of R packages.

Spotfire is an application built around S-Plus that has widespread use
in the biopharmaceutical industry at a minimum.  Vivek Ranadive's
TIBCO company just purchased Insightful, the S-Plus company.
(They bought Spotfire previously.)
Mr. Ranadive does not spend money on environments that are
not appropriate for deploying applications.

You could easily cull a list of corporation names from the
various R email listservs as well.

Press back with the reviewer.  Reviewers can learn new things
and will respond to arguments with good evidence behind them.
Good luck!

Steven McKinney

From: r-devel-bounces at r-project.org [r-devel-bounces at r-project.org] On Behalf Of Kevin R. Coombes [krcoombes at mdacc.tmc.edu]
Sent: November 19, 2009 10:47 AM
To: r-devel at r-project.org
Subject: [Rd] R Usage Statistics


I got the following comment from the reviewer of a paper (describing an
algorithm implemented in R) that I submitted to BMC Bioinformatics:

"Finally, which useful for exploratory work and some prototyping,
neither R nor S-Plus are appropriate environments for deploying user
applications that would receive much use."

I can certainly respond by pointing out that CRAN contains more than
2000 packages and Bioconductor contains more than 350. However, does
anyone have statistics on how often R (and possibly some R packages) are
downloaded, or on how many people actually use R?


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