What is a “Tale”?

Whole Tale defines a model for reproducibility that captures the input, output, data, code, execution environment, methods, provenance and other metadata about a particular research activity within the system. We refer to this as a Tale – a composite research object that includes environment configuration, metadata, data objects (or references to objects) and other outputs needed to fully reproduce a computational result.

Having created a Tale, a researcher will be able to share it with others, publish it to a repository, associate a persistent identifier, and link it to publications. Other researchers can instantiate a version of the Tale and execute it in the same state as it was when published. Tales also contain intellectual property metadata with licensing information crucial to enabling re-use, reproducibility, giving credit, as well as for broad access.

The Whole Tale simplifies data-driven and computational research while making scholarly activities more reproducible. While using their favorite environment (e.g., Jupyter, RStudio, etc.) from a web browser, researchers can conduct analysis on remotely accessible data without the complexities of installing and managing software packages locally. Future researchers benefit from having access to the same computational environment to explore and reproduce published works.