Beginner's Guide to Data Exploration and Visualisation with R (2015).

Elena N. Ieno and Alain F. Zuur


In 2010 we published a paper in the journal Methods in Ecology and Evolution entitled ‘A protocol for data exploration to avoid common statistical problems’. Little did we know at the time that this paper would become one of the journal’s all-time top papers, both top downloaded and top cited papers, with 22,472 downloads between 2010 and 2014. Based on this success we decided to extend the material in the paper into a book. It is part of our Beginner’s Guide to … book series.

This book uses ecological datasets to discuss data exploration and visualisation tools. It also explains how to visualise the results of statistical models, an important aspect of publishing scientific papers. The book includes the R code needed to construct, visualise, and explore the main features of the data step by step.

We tried to write this book in such a way that the statistical knowledge level is as low as possible. Knowledge of linear regression is all that you need.

Table of contents

Here is a pdf with the Table of contents. In case you like flowcharts, here is the TOC as a mindmap. A high-resolution version is given here.

Data sets and R code used in the book