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Overall aim: to simulate data that mimics large-scale assessments (LSAs), including background questionnaire data and cognitive item responses that adhere to a multiple-matrix sampled design. With specified correlations between background data and latent cognitive traits, the package also has functionality for theoretical and Monte Carlo regression coefficients for the effect of background data on the latent trait. This package was created as part of the Embracing Heterogeneity Project.

Development team

  • Tyler Matta
  • Yuan-Ling Linda Liaw
  • Leslie Rutkowski
  • David Rutkowski
  • Kondwani Kajera Mughogho
  • Waldir Leoncio


In the spirit of the open science movement, lsasim (pronounced "LSA-sim") is a free and open source software, licensed under the GNU General Public License v3.0. Contributions to the package are welcome, and we recommend you contact us if you're interested in doing so.


The latest official, stable version of lsasim is available on CRAN and can be installed like any other R package, i.e. by issuing the following command in your R prompt:


lsasim's GitHub repository is the central location for development of the package. Stable and test versions of lsasim can be built from this repository, but they are to be considered unstable and are not guaranteed to work properly. The development team has several coding standards and testing procedures in place to avoid issues at any branch, but unless you know what you are doing, we recommend you stick with the CRAN version of our package.

To install lsasim from GitHub, first make sure you have an up-to-date version of the remotes package installed in your machine. Then, run the following command in you R terminal:

remotes::install_github("tmatta/lsasim", ref = "master")  # "ref" can be any branch, tag or commit

Package releases can also be downloaded as compressed files from These files can be installed in R using the install.packages() command with the downloaded file path as argument.


There are several sources of information that help a user get started with lsasim and discover its most important features. The package's official repository hosts a Wiki; Once lsasim is installed in your machine, you can also issue the command help("lsasim")—or ?lsasim for short—to learn more about the package in general. You can also use the help() or ? functions to access the documentation for a specific function, for example ?questionnaire_gen. Some functions such as beta_gen contain equations, which will be displayed when calling help("beta_gen"); however, proper formatting of the equations can be seen by running help("beta_gen", help_type = "PDF") and opening the beta_gen.pdf file that is created in your working directory.

This package contains vignettes. If you are installing lsasim from GitHub, remember to include build_vignettes=TRUE in your remotes::install_github() call. Afterwards, you can browse the vignettes by issuing browseVignettes("lsasim") in your R terminal.

Reporting bugs and requesting features

Bugs should be reported by creating a new issue on For feature requests, please use this form. If you would rather contribute with source code yourself, please fork the project and issue a pull request when you are ready to have us review your contribution.


Simulate large scale assessment data



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