Introduction by OpenMethods Editor (Christopher Nunn): The world of R consists of innumerous packages. Most of them have very little download rates because they are limited to certain functions as part of a larger argument. Based on a surprising experience with the small package clipr Matthew Lincoln shares his thoughts about this reception phenomenon especially in the digital humanities.
You don’t get points in the humanities for creating small, tidy arguments whose primary purpose is to be used as components of larger arguments. You get points for big, expansive, completist arguments, the best of which suggest new paths for inquiry that will exist adjacent to, rather than as structure on top of, your work. Yet producing tight, highly focused software that does a few things well is generally considered a boon in SWE.