Day 16 – GitHub (Publishing)

It’s already week 4!  If you have been following along, we are halfway through our research workflow and will now start thinking about publishing tools for all the amazing work that has been discovered, analyzed, and written.    This week we will be focusing on a variety of tools that support different aspects of the publishing workflow including GitHub, PeerJ, Sherpa/RoMEO, Creative Commons, and PLOS ONE.


While most people know GitHub for software code, today we are exploring it as a data publishing option.  GitHub offers hosting for software projects, based on the GIT version control system.  It offers both plans for private repositories and free accounts for public projects.  The free service for open-source projects makes GitHub a great choice for publishing data sets!  Its other features also support data publishing – the built-in version control, the ability to “fork” or copy an existing repository in order to analyze the data without modifying the original, and the process of “pull requests” to contact the original data owner to accept or adopt discovered changes.

GitHub shares its best practices with the data community by partnering with github 2governmental organizations and “plug and play” data tools providers.  One successful example of this is the White House’s Project Open Data, an online public repository used to foster collaboration and promote open data practices, hosted on GitHub.

It’s easy to get started:  visit GitHub to sign up for a free account, create a new repository, or explore an existing dataset!

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