litRiddle: R package for exploring literary quality

Authors: Maciej Eder, Karina van Dalen-Oskam, Joris van Zundert, Saskia Lensink
License: GPL-3

This is an R package being a part of the Riddle of Literary Quality project.

The package contains the data of a reader survey about fiction in Dutch, a description of the novels the readers rated, and the results of stylistic measurements of the novels. The package also contains functions to combine, analyze, and visualize these data.

See: for further details. Information in Dutch about the package can be found at

If you use litRiddle in your academic publications, please consider citing the following references:

Maciej Eder, Lensink, S., Van Zundert, J.J., and Van Dalen-Oskam, K.H. (2022). “Replicating The Riddle of Literary Quality: The LitRiddle Package for R.” In Digital Humanities 2022 Conference Abstracts, 636–637. Tokyo: The University of Tokyo / DH2022 Local Organizing Committee.

Karina van Dalen-Oskam (2023). The Riddle of Literary Quality: A Computational Approach. Amsterdam University Press.


Install the package from the CRAN repository:


Alternatively, try installing it directly from the current GitHub repository:

install_github("karinavdo/LitRiddleData", build_vignettes = TRUE)


The package is complemented with a concise vignette, which can be accessed via:


This document will briefly guide the users through the functions of the package, but please expect some rough edges: the document will be revised in the future. A comprehensive yet rather low-level documentation of the package is provided – obviously – via the generic help() function in R. Try typing e.g.:

help(litRiddle) # for the general description of the package

Each function of the package, as well as each dataset, is supplemented by a help page.

A concise description of the package’s functionalities (in Dutch) is also provided here:

General info

Karina van Dalen-Oskam (2023). The Riddle of Literary Quality: A Computational Approach. Amsterdam University Press.

Karina van Dalen-Oskam (2021). Het raadsel literatuur. Is literaire kwaliteit meetbaar? Amsterdam University Press.

Maciej Eder, Saskia Lensink, Joris van Zundert, Karina van Dalen-Oskam (2022). “Replicating The Riddle of Literary Quality: The litRiddle package for R”, in: Digital Humanities 2022 Conference Abstracts. The University of Tokyo, Japan, 25–29 July 2022, p. 636-637

Corina Koolen, Karina van Dalen-Oskam, Andreas van Cranenburgh, Erica Nagelhout (2020). Literary quality in the eye of the Dutch reader: The National Reader Survey. Poetics 79: 101439,

More publications can be found at