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Authorize osfr to interact with your OSF data and OSF account by passing a personal access token (PAT) to osf_auth(). If no token is provided, osf_auth() will attempt to obtain a PAT from the OSF_PAT environment variable. However, since osfr checks for the presence of OSF_PAT on start-up, this is only necessary if the variable was created or redefined in the middle of a session. See below for additional details and instructions for generating and utilizing your PAT.


osf_auth(token = NULL)



OSF personal access token.


Invisibly returns your OSF PAT along with a message indicating it was registered.


Out of the box osfr can only access publicly available projects, components, and files on OSF. In order for osfr to view and manage your private resources you must provide a Personal Access Token (PAT). The following instructions will walk you through the process of generating a PAT and using it to authenticate osfr.

Creating an OSF personal access token

  • Navigate to

  • Click the New token button and provide a descriptive name

  • Select the scopes (i.e., permissions) you'd like to grant osfr

  • Click the Create button to generate your PAT

  • If successful, your 70 character token will be displayed along with several important warnings you should definitely read over carefully

  • You read those warnings, right?

  • Copy your token and keep it in a safe place

Using your PAT with osfr

There are two possible approaches for authenticating osfr with your PAT.

The simpler approach is to call the osf_auth() function at the start of every new R session and manually paste in your token. Note that your PAT should be treated like a password and, as such, should not be hardcoded into your script.

A better approach is to store your PAT as an environment variable called OSF_PAT. Doing so will allow osfr to detect and utilize the token automatically without any need to manually call osf_auth(). One way to accomplish this is by creating an .Renviron file in your home or working directory that defines the OSF_PAT variable. For example:


For new users we suggest adding the .Renviron to your home directory so it is automatically applied to all your projects. To verify this was done correctly, restart R and run Sys.getenv("OSF_PAT"), which should return your PAT.


  1. Colin Gillespie and Robin Lovelace (2017). Efficient R programming. O'Reilly Press.


if (FALSE) {
# manually authenticate with a PAT