SSCC - Social Science Computing Cooperative Supporting Statistical Analysis for Research

3.11 Getting help

Help is available in a variety of places. What follows is some approaches to looking for help.

You may need help in knowing how to accomplish something. That is, you do not know what functions/methods to use or maybe the steps needed. A good place to start here is the cheat sheets for the tidyverse. These can be scanned quickly to see what is provided by the package. What you need to do may already be directly implemented. You may also notice functions/methods that do part of what is needed and leave you something smaller that you do not know how to do. If you do not find what you need on the cheat sheets, goggling is your best option. We suggest starting the goggle search with tidyverse and follow this with what you are trying to do. This may not get you the help you need if there is a technical name for something that you do not know. In this case you may have to read through several of the initial responses to see how others talk about doing what you are doing. This is a good way to learn more of the lingo of programming and wrangling. Additional goggle searches can be done based on the use of new key words you see in the initial responses. You can also ask a question on help sites such as stackexchange or stackoverflow. You will likely have seen these kind of sites in response to your initial queries.

When you know how you want to accomplish something but do not remember the function/method to use, the cheat sheets would be a good place to start. If you do not find what you need on the cheat sheet, reviewing the table of contents of this book my help you find what you need. You can also goggle tidyverse followed by what you want to do.

When you know the name of the function/method you want to use and need help with what the parameters are or details of how the function/method works, the function documentation is a good place to start. This documentation can be found by goggling tidyverse followed by the name of the function or method you want help with.

If you are an SSCC member, you can also send a question to the help desk or come in and see one of the consultants for help if you are not able to resolve the issue for yourself. Information on getting help from the SSCC can be found at the SSCC website.