Host Your Project Responsibly


Teaching: 5 min
Exercises: 10 min
  • Where should I host my version control repositories?

  • Explain different options for hosting scientific work.

Institutional Barriers

Sharing is the ideal for science, but many institutions place restrictions on sharing, for example to protect potentially patentable intellectual property. If you encounter such restrictions, it can be productive to inquire about the underlying motivations either to request an exception for a specific project or domain, or to push more broadly for institutional reform to support more open science.

Sharing Code vs. Sharing Publications

Sites like GitHub are meant for sharing things while they’re being developed. Services like arXiV and figshare, on the other hand, are meant to be used to archive particular snapshots of things for future reference. There’s obviously overlap between the two - in particular, it’s possible to tag a particular version of a project in a code repository - but as a general rule, version control is “where you work” while repositories are “where you publish”.

Can My Work Be Public?

Find out whether you are allowed to host your work openly on a public forge. Can you do this unilaterally, or do you need permission from someone in your institution? If so, who?

Where Can I Share My Work?

Does your institution have a repository or repositories that you can use to share your papers, data and software?

Key Points

  • Projects can be hosted on university servers, on personal domains, or on public forges.

  • Rules regarding intellectual property and storage of sensitive information apply no matter where code and data are hosted.