Free and open access to R packages in order to make science more affordable

The world around us revolves based on science and technology. The increasing inventions in the field make knowledge available only a tap away. However, access to this vast spectrum of knowledge is limited to many who are willing to learn and improve their skills and abilities in their preferred fields. That is why making science affordable and accessible is crucial in the present-day context. It’s also a necessity to ensure the advancement of science in every nook and corner of the planet. A team of enthusiastic researchers led by Dr. Thiyanga S. Talagala, Senior Lecturer at the University of Sri Jayewardenepura has provided their contribution in making science more transparent to the upcoming generation.The team attached to the Department of Statistics has developed 10 open-source software R packages, which make their research and data accessible to everyone. The aim of creating these software packages is to ease the flow of scientific research by turning their algorithms, codes, and data into affordable packages, says Dr. Talagala.The 10 open-source R software packages include nic (a set of colour palettes for data visualization), Covid19Srilana (set of data related to COVID-19, published by Epidemiology Unit of Health Ministry, Sri Lanka), DSjobtracker (set of data on data-science related job advertisements), MedLEA (set of data on morphological and structural features of medicinal plants), mozzie (data set related to dengue patients in Sri Lanka), tsdataleaks (R package to detect data leakage in forecasting competitions), tea (data set corresponding to Tea exporting countries), colmozzie (data set on dengue cases and climate variations in Colombo), DISC (data set on weekly reported diseases by Nutrition & Indigenous Medicine of Ministry of Health), and ceylon (R package for plotting maps). These packages are made available at CRAN and GitHub.The diverse set of data made available through these packages can be of significance to a range of scientific research and studies in future. Thus, yet again, USJ proves to be an important contributor in making knowledge more comprehensive, transparent, and affordable.

Written by: Marin Rachel

Designed by: Manuka Pasan

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