[R] Understanding read.csv error message

MacQueen, Don m@cqueen1 @end|ng |rom ||n|@gov
Sat Aug 18 02:03:25 CEST 2018

Hi Rich,

It's not obvious what would be causing that error from read.csv. But here's what I would probably try:

Add quote='"" to your arguments. The default is to use surround text strings with double quotes, but your file doesn't.

Copy the first few rows into another file and try it. If it succeeds, that would suggest something later on in the file is causing the problem.

The argument sep=','   is redundant for read.csv. In other words, it sets sep for you. I'd try switching to the more general read.table.

Are the NAs in the file indicated by NA between a pair of commas? Or do you have successive commas with nothing between them for NA? Not sure what difference it will make, but it might affect what args you pass to read.table.

Are you absolutely sure there are never any commas in the name?


Don MacQueen
Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory
7000 East Ave., L-627
Livermore, CA 94550
Lab cell 925-724-7509

On 8/17/18, 3:08 PM, "R-help on behalf of Rich Shepard" <r-help-bounces using r-project.org on behalf of rshepard using appl-ecosys.com> wrote:

       I have a data file, 'precip_projected.csv,' that starts like this:
    Headworks Portland Water,2370575.38427211,199337.634652112,228,2005-01-01,0.59
    Headworks Portland Water,2370575.38427211,199337.634652112,228,2005-01-02,0.08
    Headworks Portland Water,2370575.38427211,199337.634652112,228,2005-01-03,0.1
    Headworks Portland Water,2370575.38427211,199337.634652112,228,2005-01-04,0
    Headworks Portland Water,2370575.38427211,199337.634652112,228,2005-01-05,0
    Headworks Portland Water,2370575.38427211,199337.634652112,228,2005-01-06,0.02
    Headworks Portland Water,2370575.38427211,199337.634652112,228,2005-01-07,0.05
    Headworks Portland Water,2370575.38427211,199337.634652112,228,2005-01-08,0.1
    Headworks Portland Water,2370575.38427211,199337.634652112,228,2005-01-09,0
    Headworks Portland Water,2370575.38427211,199337.634652112,228,2005-01-10,0.02
       There are a bunch of NAs in the data file.
       The command to read it produces an error:
    rainfall <- read.csv('../data/precipitation/precip_projected.csv', header = T, sep = ',', as.is = T)
    Error in `$<-.data.frame`(`*tmp*`, date, value = numeric(0)) :
       replacement has 0 rows, data has 113569
       Is the error generated by finding a date that looks like the number zero
    or by a prcp value of zero?
       BTW, I get the same error if I specify stringsAsFactors = F.
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