Hello and welcome to health_stack! If you are reading this then you are interested in learning how to use R for health related research. If you were anything like me, I spent hours trying to learn how to use R via various coding courses, code troubleshooting pages like Stack Overflow and by viewing hundreds of package vignettes.

However, most information I found was not aimed at the beginner and even if it was, there were sizable jumps between the basics and then intermediate actions. Also, most examples used non-specific data examples (e.g. mtcars) which I found really hard to get my head around.

Since then, I have developed my own skill by analysing my own data which has really helped me learn R, not only by knowing what code to paste into the console, but also understanding what each line does to my own data.

This is why we wanted to start health_stack.

We wanted to provide a space for novices in the health data world to learn R code, share resources and help others with their challenges when using R.

In the beginning we will mostly be covering the basics of R coding, but as we develop the site we will be publishing more advanced techniques as we go.

A good example of this is that most of my own research includes the use of time series (date-time stamped) data. If you have spent even a small amount of time trying to find out how to process this in R, you will know it is a real headache. So in addition to code tutorials, we aim to showcase some of the methods we use in order to answer specific research questions.

We also hope to be different to all the other tutorials out there by providing bespoke health data sets alongside our tutorials so you don’t have to try and make sense of strange data, alongside learning R!

But to be clear, health_stack IS:

  • A place for us to share our knowledge and code that we have developed to hopefully benefit others
  • A point of contact to those that want to collaborate on any topics that we cover on the site
  • A working document that we plan on updating regularly.

But, health_stack is NOT:

  • A comprehensive guide to all aspects of R
  • An error checking website.

Anyway, this message is already longer than it should be… but we hope you find our site useful and please let us know what you think and if there is anything you would like to see us cover!