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Build a web scraper for a literature search – from soup to nuts

Code, references, and examples of this project are on Github.

In this post, I’ll describe the soup to nuts process of automating a literature search in Pubmed Central using R.

It feels deeply satisfying to sit back and let the code do the dirty work.

Is it as satisfying as a bowl of red-braised beef noodle soup with melt-in-your-mouth tendons from Taipei’s Yong Kang Restaurant (featured image)?

If you have to do a lit search like this more than once, then I have to say the answer is yes — unequivocally, yes.

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Reshaping Data in R

A guest post, contributed by Cathy Yeh.

Can you format some data in Excel for me?

sad tapir
Tapirs love formatting Excel spreadsheets

If you’re as excited as this tapir about the prospect of formatting data in Excel, read on!

Today, we’ll talk about reshaping data in R. At the same time, we’ll see how for-loops can be avoided by using R functionals (functions of functions). Functionals are faster than for-loops and make code easier to read by clearly laying out the intent of a loop.

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