NOTE: Because of the Easter holidays April’s meetup will be on the 2nd Tue of the month.

This month we’ll be exploring rrtools, an implementation of R package structure, development tools and practices to a research workflow context.

Rrtools builds on functionality offered by packages like devtools and usethis, adapting and extending them to a research context. The package provides guidance, templates, and functions for making a basic compendium suitable for doing reproducible research with R and a convenient starting point for writing a journal article, report, or thesis.

Useful features:

  • A template for doing scholarly writing in a literate programming environment using R Markdown ( and bookdown (

  • Isolation of your computational environment in a container using Docker (

  • Package dependency versioning using MRAN (,

  • Continuous Integration (testing) using Travis (

In this joint session, Anna Krystalli will give an overview of the philosophy, key functions and resulting compendium structure while Dan Olner will walk us through using the tools to convert an existing research project to a reproducible research compendium.

Speaker Bios

Dan ( is a researcher in the Sheffield Methods Institute working on a diverse bunch of projects, from modelling whether houses can see wind turbines or green space to making 3D prints of Census data to making monsters using a Kinect motion sensor. He also occasionally runs day workshops on data wrangling and visualisation in R.

Anna ( is a Research Software Engineer at the University of Sheffield, helping researchers do more with their code and data.