Get Free Private Github Repositories Through GitHub Education

We’ve written a fair amount about GitHub here at ProfHacker. To cite just a few examples, Lincoln described how to fork syllabi using GitHub, George outlined how to preserve your Twitter archive using GitHub Pages, and Konrad wrote a long series introducing the basics of GitHub in detail.

I resisted GitHub for a long time, against the advice of my fellow Profs. Hacker and other colleagues, but recently have moved toward using it to store code related to my teaching and my research, as well to host sites for classes and research projects. In the coming weeks I plan to write tutorials outlining precisely how I’ve been building class and project pages using RStudio or Jekyll paired with GitHub Pages, but first I wanted to recall those previous posts so that interested readers can set up their own GitHub accounts, which they will need to follow those tutorials.

In the meantime, however, I wanted to share exciting news I learned only very recently from a colleague. In his Getting Started with GitHub post, Konrad noted,

GitHub accounts are free, and remain so as long as you allow your repositories be open source and available to the world. You only have to get a paid account if you wish to have private repositories protected from prying eyes.

This is generally true, but sometimes academics might want a private repository: for a class website in progress, perhaps, or for other materials—such as, in my case, a promotion dossier in progress—that would benefit from GitHub’s versioning but cannot be made publicly available.

Fortunately, however—and this is what I did not realize until just months ago—GitHub offers free individual and team accounts through their GitHub Education program. Students 13 years and older can apply for the Student Developer Pack, which gives access to specialized tools and unlimited private repositories. Educators and/or researchers can apply for a free individual Developer plan, which also offers unlimited private repositories, as well as for free Team plans for academic groups, such as a classroom or a research project team.

The process is simple. Visit the GitHub Education page, click request a discount, log into your account, and fill out the form. You should use your institutional email account, if you have one, and you may have to upload a document demonstrating your affiliation. From there the GitHub Education team has to approve your request, which in my case took only a few hours.

I don’t have a huge need for private repositories, but it is nice to have the option, and has allowed me to benefit from GitHub on a few projects I wouldn’t have felt comfortable putting on GitHub otherwise. If you’re reading ProfHacker, there’s a good chance you’ll qualify for a free educational account as well.

Are you using GitHub for teaching and/or research, and if so did you know about GitHub Education? Tell us about how you’re using GitHub in the comments.

The original preprint system was scientists sharing photocopies

“The movement to make biology papers freely available before they have been peer-reviewed, let alone published in a reputable journal, finally succeeded in 2013, when bioRxiv (pronounced bio-archive) was launched by Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory. But 50 years before, the National Institutes of Health tried something similar: distributing unpublished scientific papers, or preprints, to a handpicked group of leading researchers.”

Need a paper? Get a plug-in

“Increasingly, however, scientists are turning to tools such as Unpaywall, Open Access Button, Lazy Scholar and Kopernio. These tools all do more or less the same thing: tap into an overlapping set of data sources to identify and retrieve open-access copies of research papers that are inaccessible or hard to find through other routes.”

The Center for Open Science and MarXiv Launch Branded Preprint Service

The Center for Open Science (COS) and MarXiv have launched a new preprint service for the earth sciences, sources for both organizations announced today. The new service, called MarXiv, provides free, open access, open source archives for the ocean conservation and marine climate sciences.

EBSCO Open Dissertations Project – Join the Movement

“The channels by which today’s scholars discover relevant content are varied and wide. In this increasingly complex environment, institutions are seeking strategies to make their students’ theses and dissertations as widely visible and cited as possible. With EBSCO Open Dissertations, institutions and students are offered an innovative approach to meeting these goals by driving additional traffic to ETDs in institutional repositories. The program is free for authors and participating institutions with the desired end of making significant open-access content more readily discoverable to end-users within and beyond academic institutions.”

If funders and libraries subscribed to open access: The case of eLife, PLOS, and BioOne [PeerJ Preprints]

“Following on recent initiatives in which funders and libraries directly fund open access publishing, this study works out the economics of systematically applying this approach to three biomedical and biology publishing entities by determining the publishing costs for the funders that sponsored the research, while assigning the costs for unsponsored articles to the libraries. The study draws its data from the non-profit biomedical publishers eLife and PLOS, and the nonprofit journal aggregator BioOne, with this sample representing a mix of publishing revenue models, including funder sponsorship, article processing charges (APC), and subscription fees. This funder-library open access subscription model is proposed as an alternative to both the closed-subscription model, which funders and libraries no longer favor, and the APC open access model, which has limited scalability across scholarly publishing domains. Utilizing PubMed filtering and manual-sampling strategies, as well as publicly available publisher revenue data, the study demonstrates that in 2015, 86 percent of the articles in eLife and PLOS acknowledged funder support, as did 76 percent of the articles in the largely subscription journals of BioOne. Twelve percent of the articles identified the NIH as a funder, 8 percent identifies other U.S. government agencies. Approximately half of the articles were funded by non-U.S. government agencies, including 1 percent by Wellcome Trust and 0.5 percent by Howard Hughes Medical Institute. For 17 percent of the articles, which lacked a funder, the study demonstrates how a collection of research libraries, similar to the one currently subscribing to BioOne, could cover publishing costs. The goal of the study is to inform stakeholder considerations of open access models that can work across the disciplines by (a) providing a cost breakdown for direct funder and library support for open access publishing; (b) positing the use of publishing data-management organizations (such as Crossref and ORCID) to facilitate per article open access support; and (c) proposing ways in which such a model offers a more efficient, equitable, and scalable approach to open access than the prevailing APC model, which originated with biomedical publishing.”