B.3 Resources

ds4psy: Datasets

B.3.1 Data in base R

As R includes a datasets package, every version of R comes with a collection of datasets. To learn which datasets exist and obtain basic information about them, call

To obtain information about any particular dataset x, call ?x. Throughout this book, we use quite a few of the datasets in examples and exercises.

As the datasets are included to illustrate particular types of data or problems, they vary widely in size and shape. For instance, the Nile dataset contains a single time series with measurement values of the annual flow of the river Nile from the years 1871 to 1970.

B.3.2 Data in R packages

Many R packages also include datasets. For instance, we use the following datasets from various tidyverse packages:

  • dplyr: starwars, band_members, band_instruments, nasa, storms, etc.
  • ggplot2: diamonds, economics, mpg, msleep, etc.
  • tidyr: table1, etc.

Other packages with many small and large data sets include:

This list is incidental and woefully incomplete. See Rdatasets for a more systematic collection of over 1300 datasets distributed through R and its packages.

B.3.3 Online sources

The web is full of data, of course, but most of it needs sound data science and a sound dose of scepticism to be of any use. Here are some good starting points for finding free data.

Collections of datasets

Economic datasets

  • FRED provides mostly time series data on economic trends

  • IPUMS provides census and survey data on various issues from around the world

  • Using survey data of the Pew Research Center requires a free account

  • UC DATA provides data in the areas of political, social and health sciences.

Specific datasets

  • PanTHERIA: A species-level database of life history, ecology, and geography of extant and recently extinct mammals