A checklist for choosing between #rstats packages

The paradox of choice can at times be a challenge. There are well over 10,000 packages on CRAN now (likely 16,000), and there have been suggestions on how to find what you need but not necessarily on how to choose between alternatives. Here is a brief checklist that I used to contrast two similar packages for doing meta-analyses in R (summarized in a preprint qualitatively).

criteriaitem
regularly maintained
recently updated
package maintainer on GitHub
manual available
vignettes available
used/published in similar projects
aligned workflow
semantics intuitive
contemporary grammar
functions that get the job done
arguments to support needs
visualization options (if needed)
dependencies reported/reasonable
connects to other packages

Implication

It is great to have different choices, and it is important to explore different alternatives because each can lead to potentially different adventures.