Virtual cesR Workshop (feat. Rohan Alexander and Paul Hodgetts)

The Laurier Institute for the Study of Public Opinion and Policy and the Consortium on Electoral Democracy sponsored an online workshop with the authors of the new R package that contains all existing Canadian Election Study surveys. Rohan Alexander and Paul Hodgetts introduced cesR, which is an R package that allows users to more easily use data from the Canadian Election Study (CES).

The package has functions that allow R users to download the CES surveys, add the questions that were asked, quickly preview a CES survey, and obtain a subset of the 2019 online survey. R packages such as these improve accessibility to data and enhance reproducibility as they allow more of the user workflow to be documented in code. They also enhance the teaching of these initial steps of the data analysis workflow by allowing a consistent and repeatable approach and by skipping the sometimes awkward steps involved in loading data files that are stored locally. In this talk, we first introduced the package and live code some cases. We then talked more broadly about similar packages that are particularly useful in a Canadian context including opendatatoronto and cancensus. Finally, we discussed the importance of statistical programming languages and reproducibility more broadly.

The presentation slides are available at: https://www.hodgettsp.com/projects/2021-01-25-cesr/

The cesR demo code is available at: https://github.com/hodgettsp/cesR_demo

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