Harrison Dekker, University of California, Berkeley
Tim Dennis, University of California, San Diego
Librarians, programmers, openscience
The material covered is most applicable to academic and science librarians, but could apply to
public librarians with an interest in promoting programming and/or ‘citizen science’.
Some programming experience will be helpful, but the workshop will also benefit those with a
strong interest in learning Python.
Consider the following quote: “An article about computational results is advertising, not
scholarship. The actual scholarship is the full software environment, code and data, that
produced the result.” [Buckheit and Donoho 1992] (Source
This quote highlights a central tenet of the open science movement, namely that researchers
doing computational work need to share their code and data to allow replication of their results
and to more clearly demonstrate their methods. But sharing is not yet commonplace, in part
due to technical impediments. Typical problems have to do with reproducing the computing
environment in which the code was used and include operating system dependencies, software
version incompatibilities, and dependencies on proprietary components.
Project Jupyter is an effort to provide a solution to these challenges by creating an opensource,
computational environment where text and code can be intermingled:
The Jupyter Notebook is a web application that allows you to create and share
documents that contain live code, equations, visualizations and explanatory text. Uses
include: data cleaning and transformation, numerical simulation, statistical modeling,
machine learning and much more. (Source: http://jupyter.org)
Numerous examples of Jupyter Notebooks now exist across the disciplines and in both research
and teaching. There are even examples of their usage in journalism. We contend that libraries
can and should play a role in promoting open science tools like Jupyter. Some potential roles
● Advocates open science aligns closely with traditional library goals of providing free access to resource to promote an informed citizenry
● Educational various levels of education from helping users locate existing Jupyter Notebooks to teaching the programming and data management skills needed to use them.
● Curatorial as the number of Jupyter users increase, so will the need to build and curate them as digital artifacts
● Infrastructure the Jupyter platform can run on individual workstations or in the cloud. Libraries could be providers of computing infrastructure to facilitate use of the notebooks and longterm access.
In this workshop we will explore how Jupyter is being used both in and outside of academia.
Participants will gain experience finding, using, and developing Jupyter notebooks. Some prior
experience with the Python language will be helpful, but not required.