Creating New Tales

Tales contain the inputs, outputs, data, code, execution environment, provenance and other related metadata about the results of computational research. A tale is typically associated with a single publication and contains all information necessary to reproduce reported results.

Tales can be created as follows:

  • New Tale: Create a new empty tale
  • Github repository: Create a tale based on an existing Github repository
  • From data repository: Create a tale based on an existing dataset stored in a research repository (such as Dataverse, Zenodo or DataONE)

Note: You can create as many tales on the system as you’d like, but you can only have 2 interactive environments running concurrently.


Creating a new Tale


When creating a new tale, you must select the default interactive environment that will be used. Supported environments include JupyterLab, RStudio, MATLAB, STATA, and OpenRefine. For more information including how to customize installed packages, see the Environments section.

Creating an Empty Tale

To create an empty Tale, click the Create New Tale button and select the Create New Tale option. The Create New Tale dialog will appear allowing you to enter a title and select the interactive environment. Select the Create New Tale button and you will be taken to the your new tale where you can upload files, register external data, edit metadata, share with other users, or start an interactive environment. For more information see the Accessing and Modifying Tales section.


Create New Tale menu


Dialog for creating a new Tale

Creating Tales from Git Repositories

Tales can also be created from existing public Git repositories. To create a new Tale that contains a Git repository, select the Create New Tale dropdown menu then Create Tale from Git Repository.


Dialog for creating a new Tale from a Git repository

Enter the URL of a public repository, title for your tale, and select the desired interactive environment. Select the Create New Tale button to create the tale and import contents from the specified Git repository. For more information about using Git in Whole Tale, see Working with Git.

Creating Tales from Third Party Data Centers

Tales can also be created from third-party research data repositories. Currently supported repositories include DataONE, Dataverse, and Zenodo.


Select Dataverse nodes have added support for creating Tales from dataset landing pages.

To create a Tale with a data file from a data package hosted by Dataverse, locate the file listing in the data package. The Whole Tale link under the Explore tab will launch Whole Tale in a new window, where you can further tailor the environment.


A Dataverse package whose node supports Whole Tale integration.

When the Tale properties satisfy your needs, data registration and Tale launching will begin after clicking Create New Tale and Launch. Once the Tale is ready to launch, you’ll be automatically re-directed to it.


DataONE allows users to launch Tales with entire datasets. To create a Tale from a DataONE dataset, visit your dataset on the DataONE demo server and look for the Analyze dropdown menu in the citation and downloads bar.


A DataONE package that supports Whole Tale integration.

After selecting one of the listed environments, you’ll be transferred to Whole Tale where you can further tailor your Tale. You may also select a different environment than the one that was chosen in DataONE. One customizations have been made, click the Create New Tale and Launch button to register the data and create the Tale.

Choosing Between Read only and Read/Write

If you’re creating a Tale that has external data, the data is placed in a read only folder to prevent accidental manipulation. In the case that you need to modify the data, select the “Read/Write” option before creating the Tale.