Monday, March 17, 2014

GitHub Education Officially Providing Students and Educators Free Resources

In my last post I talked about PLOS's efforts to improve data sharing, and how important it is to make your data and analyses tools available when you publish, especially in microbiome research.  This importance of sharing published data and analysis scripts was also highlighted in a recent article in the journal Microbiome (see reference below).  Now the code versioning and sharing software site GitHub is even getting on board by officially supporting students and classrooms with free micro and organization accounts to improve coding education and data sharing practices.  I'll also note that, as they point out in their blog, this is something they had done for a while but now they made it official.

GitHub is a popular website and hosting service for version control (meaning it effectively tracks changes made to the code) and code sharing.  Not only is it a good resource for interacting with other developers, but it is also a great way to share your work with others and learn more about how to code effectively.  In general, your free account will only allow you to host public projects (repositories), and the ability to host private projects will cost you $7 per month.  Their student discount lets you host private projects for free, which is a pretty big incentive for students to get on GitHub, work on projects with their friends/classmates, and learn more about coding.  Teachers can also get free organization accounts for their classes, which will also be a great educational resource.  This is a big step in the right direction, and this resource for teaching version control and code sharing might even promote more sharing of published code in future scientists' work.

Go here to sign up for your GitHub education account.

Happy coding!

Works Cited

Ravel, J., & Wommack, K. (2014). All hail reproducibility in microbiome research Microbiome, 2 (1) DOI: 10.1186/2049-2618-2-8

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