Using regular expressions

For research, you may need to download data from open-access websites or authentication-required databases. These data sources provide data in various formats, and most of the data supplied are very likely well-organized. For example, many economic and financial databases provide data in the CSV format, which is a widely supported text format to represent tabular data. A typical CSV format looks like this:

id,name,score 
1,A,20 
2,B,30 
3,C,25

In R, it is convenient to call read.csv() to import a CSV file as a data frame with the right header and data types because the format is a natural representation of a data frame.

However, not all data files are well organized, and dealing with poorly organized data is painstaking. Built-in ...

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