Biological anthropologist James Holland Jones is asked a simple question by his professor colleagues at Stanford: Why use R? Of course, it's free, but are there other reasons to choose R for research and teaching over the commercial alternatives. In his essay, Jones not only offers a defense of free but also offers seven other excellent reasons to be using R:
- R is used by the majority of academic statisticians;
- R is platform-independent;
- R has unrivaled help resources;
- R makes the best graphics;
- The command-line interface is better for teaching;
- R is a full programming language, not just a statistics application; and
- The online distribution system beats anything out there.