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Using Emacs, Org-mode and R for Research Writing

This guide presents a toolkit for writing research papers and monographs using Emacs, Org-mode and R.

Org-mode allows embedding statistical code in the document to generate results that can be revised and reproduced, integration of bibliographic references with a database, and consistent formatting without any manual tweaking using excellent support for creation of pdf, […]

Sustainability of water use in agriculture

AQUASTAT, developed and maintained by the Food and Agriculture Organization of the UN, is the global database that gives quantitative information on water resources and withdrawal of water for different uses.

Agricultural water withdrawal is defined as follows:

Annual quantity of self-supplied water withdrawn for irrigation, livestock and aquaculture purposes. It includes water from primary […]

Millennium development goals: big ideas, broken promises? – interactive | Global development | theguardian.com

Millennium development goals: big ideas, broken promises? – interactive | Global development | theguardian.com.

Very well presented.

Statistics on Indian Economy and Society


A lot of statistics on Indian economy and society are available online. These are scattered across various websites and are mostly provided without any information on the sources, data definitions and limitations of these statistics.

This website was conceived as a platform to host statistics on different aspects of the economy and society. The […]

Hindi/Devanagari presentations using orgmode, R, latex and beamer

I recently had to prepare a beamer presentation in hindi/devanagari. I usually use emacs-orgmode  with a lot of R source code embedded in it to prepare my beamer presentations. To adapt the entire setup to work with devanagari, this is what I needed to do.


Make orgmode export to latex using xetex rather than […]

Making Data Meaningful

United Nations Economic Commission for Europe has published these two documents very interesting documents.

Making Data Meaningful, Part I

Making Data Meaningful, Part II



I am organising a group at CESP, JNU that will produce scripts using open source tools for reading NSSO and ASI data. The idea is to release these scripts under an open source license. Any researcher who purchases NSSO/ASI data will be able to use these scripts to process them.

We will use these scripts […]

Position for a Research Assistant to be based in New Delhi

Vacancy announcement is here.

Fibbing with Numbers

PROOFINESS: The Dark Arts of Mathematical Deception

An interesting book review in NYTimes. Hope to get hold of the book sometime.



I discovered a new, very useful, R function yesterday: ave.

This is what it does: “Subsets of ‘x[]’ are averaged, where each subset consist of those observations with the same factor levels.”

But interestingly, you can use any function other than average. The output of that function is set against each observation.

I wanted […]

Basic skills to use a spreadsheet software

Two students of social sciences who had so far used computers for limited, specific tasks recently asked me for some kind of a course outline that they should cover to pick up basic skills for using a spreadsheet software. I prepared the list and thought it may interest some others. Hence this post.

1. […]


If a model is estimated using the following code: lm(y~x1+x2)->p

1. bptest(p) does the Breuch Pagan test to formally check presence of heteroscedasticity. To use bptest, you will have to call lmtest library.

2. If the test is positive (low p value), you should see if any transformation of the dependent variable helps you eliminate […]

Interesting document

Making Data Meaningful: A guide to writing stories about numbers

The blurb: The guide is intended as a practical tool to help managers, statisticians and media relations officers use text, tables, graphics and other information to bring statistics to life.

Get the pdf version directly from here.


Find type of variables in a data frame

sapply(a,class) gives type of field (character, numeric, or factor) for each variable in the data frame a.

Moving average/median

?rollmean (package=zoo)?rollmedian (package=zoo)?runmed (package=stats)