Apps, packages and services for Political Scientists


  • Papers – organizes your PDF library + citation database
  • Mendeley – manages citation database (desktop and online app)
  • GitHub Mac – simple version control
  • RStudio – a nice IDE for R if you don’t like plain coding


  • countrycode – R package that “can convert to and from 7 different country coding schemes. It uses regular expressions to convert long country names (e.g. Sri Lanka) into any of those coding schemes [Correlates of War character, CoW-numeric, ISO3-character, ISO3-numeric, ISO2-character, IMF, FIPS 10-4, official English short country names (ISO), continent, region], or into standardized country names (official short English).”
  • datasciencetoolkit – Python toolbox to extract various data from texts
  • BeautifulSoup – helps to scrap websites with a few lines of Python code


  • AWS/EC2 – run R and Python in the cloud to save time
  • TileMill – makes nice maps to visualize geocoded data
  • Detexify – translates handwritten symbols in LaTex code
  • RegEr – instant regular expression tester

The current issue of The Political Methodologist discusses how to organize research, especially the data analysis workflow. Worth reading!