[R] Compare lm() to glm(family=poisson)

Alain Zuur highstat at highstat.com
Sat Aug 1 23:22:59 CEST 2009

Mark Na wrote:
> Dear R-helpers,
> I would like to compare the fit of two models, one of which I fit using
> lm()
> and the other using glm(family=poisson). The latter doesn't provide
> r-squared, so I wonder how to go about comparing these
> models (they have the same formula).
> Thanks very much,
> Mark Na
> 	[[alternative HTML version deleted]]
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> and provide commented, minimal, self-contained, reproducible code.

The decision which distribution to use (Normal versus Poisson) should be an
a priori choice. If you really want to compare them, then inspect the
residuals of both models and see which model doesn't have any residual


Dr. Alain F. Zuur
First author of:

1. Analysing Ecological Data (2007).
Zuur, AF, Ieno, EN and Smith, GM. Springer. 680 p.

2. Mixed effects models and extensions in ecology with R. (2009).
Zuur, AF, Ieno, EN, Walker, N, Saveliev, AA, and Smith, GM. Springer.

3. A Beginner's Guide to R (2009).
Zuur, AF, Ieno, EN, Meesters, EHWG. Springer

Statistical consultancy, courses, data analysis and software
Highland Statistics Ltd.
6 Laverock road
UK - AB41 6FN Newburgh
Email: highstat at highstat.com
URL: www.highstat.com

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