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SIOP and CARMA Offer the Gift of Knowledge


by SIOP Administrative Office

Save 50% on Registration for the R Short Courses

SIOP and CARMA, the Consortium for the Advancement of Research Methods and Analysis, are partnering to offer discounted registration for 2-day courses on the statistical software package R.  Because of its advantages over traditional packages such as SPSS, SAS, and Stata, R is quickly becoming the statistical tool of choice for I-O psychologists.

Seven different courses, including an introductory class and courses covering specific applications, will be held at the University of South Carolina January 10-12, 2019. Registration for a Short Course includes a bonus registration for a 4-hour workshop on the Basics of R, offered in-person on January 9 or online on demand.

R is available for Windows, Macintosh, UNIX, and Linux platforms. In the 2 decades since it was first made widely available, R has been adopted for use by a range of practitioners, organizations, and academic institutions.

SIOP Past President Fred Oswald, who is a professor at Rice University, said, “Whether you are an I-O practitioner, an academic, or graduate student, learning how to conduct data analyses in R is a critical skill to have these days.”  That’s why he helped arrange for the collaboration that allows SIOP members to register for the Short Courses on R at the CARMA member rate.

Oswald stressed R’s flexibility and cross-discipline acceptance, saying “First, you can easily implement existing packages, or you can write your own programs that suit your own needs. Second, R allows you to communicate with other disciplines easily (e.g., computer scientists and economists use R, but they generally do not use SPSS). Third, R is free, so if you want to share your R code with someone, no software needs to be purchased.”

Scott Tonidandel, professor of Management at Belk College of Business, UNC-Charlotte, and instructor for the introductory Short Course, added these points to the list of R’s advantages:

Comprehensive: R is an extremely comprehensive statistical solution in that it can also replace all sorts of specialized statistical software (e.g. LISREL, HLM).

State of the art: Many of our most recent statistical innovations are already implemented in R via user-contributed packages or scripts.

Larry Williams, professor at University of Nebraska Lincoln and director of CARMA, noted that “updates occur regularly, so one has to worry less about using an outdated version of a commercially available program.  Also, it has great capabilities for managing large data sets common to I-O researchers. Finally,” he concluded, “and especially important, is that R has functions that allow for easy incorporation of recommended practices based on open-science principles.”

Richard Landers, professor at University of Minnesota and instructor for the Web Scraping: Data Collection and Analysis Short Course, also noted R’s open science utility and ease of use in copy on his data science website, where he trenchantly asked, “Have you ever worked in SPSS for hours only to realize you made a little mistake at the beginning and now need to redo everything?”

Williams specifically chose the Short Course topics to address the range of analytic needs of I-O researchers and practitioners. “First, given the theme of R, I wanted to have one comprehensive course that would provide an overview of R and not be linked to a specific type of use,” he said, “Then I considered the frequency of use of specific statistical methods.” He chose some techniques that are widely used, like SEM and multilevel analysis, and some newer techniques, like Bayesian analysis.

“Finally, I wanted to include topics of special relevance to applied researchers, such as web scraping and big data,” he concluded.

CARMA Short Courses blend hands-on experience with lecture to develop methodological skills. Short Course instructors are former and current editors and editorial board members from leading organizational journals who are recognized experts on their topics and who understand how their methods are applied in organizational settings.   

Find full course descriptions, registration, and links to accommodations on the CARMA website.  This holiday season you can save hundreds of dollars on instruction designed to fill your data analysis needs. Sign up for the Short Courses on R today and begin the new year with new analytical tools and techniques.