At rOpenSci, we have come to realize that in order to help researchers get the most out of R, we need better tooling to monitor the quality, health, and impact of R packages. This applies both to our internal projects, as well as other packages in the R ecosystem. But what exactly makes a good R package?
In this talk we discuss various aspects of open-source software that are not always immediately obvious, and that you may want to consider when depending on an R package. We identify several categories of indicators you could look for, ranging from the role in the dependency network, to expectations around maintenance and participation.
Finally we introduce an ambitious new rOpenSci project called R-universe: an open platform, where we will experiment with showing metrics and other background information about packages, that may reveal something about the health and the impact of the project, and also facilitate discovery of other software.