Happy birthday easystats!
About a year ago, I (Dom) sadly realised that the R package I was maintaining (psycho) was drifting more and more away from its original scope, getting drown under a pile of unrelated and under-documented features that I kept on adding as my R skills improved. Something had to be done.
I decided to get in touch with Daniel, aka strengejacke (for mysterious and very confusing reasons), the author of the sjverse, a collection of awesome packages which scope wasn’t too distant from my own one. Quickly, we realised that beyond facing similar issues, we shared the same vision: Make R stats easy again.
We were also agreeing on a possible way of reaching this goal. Build a new collection of packages that would work together to provide a smooth experience to getting stats, and all that entails, done in R (note that we preferred the workflow to be easy rather than tidy… ;p). Most importantly, we shared the same values, including a commitment to open-science, a desire for collaborative development, a focus on user- and beginner- friendliness, and a dedication to the Force.
And just like that, easystats was born.
But this project wouldn’t have grown, nor still exist, if we hadn’t manage to bring in the most talented people, creating an awesome team which diversity in experience and skills offers an incredibly valuable resource. Shout-out to the ultimate Bayes master @mattansb, to our socio-political expert @pdwaggoner, to @IndrajeetPatil, the compulsive model supporter and author of the famous ggstatsplot, to our big-daddy-markdown-mate @humanfactors, to the best dinosaur stats explainer @lindeloev and to the interaction genius @jacob-long. A big thank you to this great team. Make sure to check-out their awesome work and research!
Together in one year, we created 9 packages, pushed 7 of them to CRAN (which have now been downloaded more than half a million times (!!!)), wrote many blogposts, and made just about a thousand memes. But most importantly, we all learned a lot, as this project partly became the opportunity for us to drastically improve our R, stats, programming and light-saber skills. Moreover, it also ended up being a great occasion and place to have fun, contribute to the community, and become part of a network of talented and open-minded people with similar interests. And that is, by far, one of the biggest take-away.
And yet, although fun is good, it doesn’t make for a living (unless you’re Mr Bean). And the easystats project also turned out to be a legit academic research project with legit academic outcomes. This year, we published 3 papers (insight]; bayestestR and another Bayes-related one) related to easystats, and we plan on keeping up at least that rhythm for the year to come (now might be your chance to get involved ;).
Aside from publications, we also plan on releasing the remaining packages (What do I hear? “fixing report”?), continue improving the existing ones and adding even more awesome features and documentation.
All in all, easystats is a living and breathing demonstration of how an open-science project can be born, keep growing and improving like an old wine. And the beauty, and tragedy, lies in the fact that it’s arguably against all the odds offered by the current academic system. We have no funding (however, very interested in getting some… *wink wink*), no initial publication goals, and no direct obligation or pressure to work to it. We are all contributing to it on our free time, out of pure enthusiasm and interest in making this place a lil’ bit better.
So, as a closing note, because happiness is only useful when it is shared, we’d like to thank you, user of easystats, for directly contributing to our passion. Cheers!
…And if you’re not yet a user or a contributor… what are you waiting for?!
Note that easystats is a new project in active development, looking for contributors and supporters. Thus, do not hesitate to contact us if you want to get involved :)
- Check out our other blog posts here!
To be updated about the upcoming features and cool R or data science stuff, you can follow the packages on GitHub (click on one of the easystats package) and then on the Watch button on the top right corner) as well as the easystats team on twitter and online: