boilerplate for reproducible and transparent science

View the Project on GitHub miguelarbesu/cookiecutter-reproducible-science

Reproducible Science

This is a template for Python-based data analysis workflows and tools. It’s a fork from Mario Krapp’s boilerplate for Python data science projects, Reproducible Science. The original derives from Cookiecutter Data Science: A logical, reasonably standardized, but flexible project structure for doing and sharing data science work.

Here I reintroduce some elements according to my own needs and preferences.Other important sources of inspiration are:


Install cookiecutter from Pip or Conda.


To start a new science project from this version of the template:

cookiecutter gh:miguelarbesu/cookiecutter-reproducible-science --checkout main

If you have a local install, you can run:

cookiecutter ./cookiecutter-reproducible-science --checkout main


├─ data                             <--- Experimental data
│  ├─ external                          
│  ├─ interim
│  ├─ processed
│  └─ raw
├─ devtools                         <--- Development tools
├─ doc                              <--- Project documentation
├─ notebook                         <--- Exploratory Jupyter notebooks
├─ output                           <--- Final analysis report
│  └─ figures
├─ src
│  ├─ packagename
│  │  ├─
│  │  ├─
│  │  └─
│  ├─ data
│  └─ tests
│     ├─
|     └─



Typically, I will start analyzing a given data set(s) with experimental results and/or a reference database from others. My own data will be saved as an immutable dump under raw, third-party under external. Then usually follows an exploratory stage to evaluate & clean the data. Intermediate data belong to interim. Finally, some kind of elaborated data is derived – e.g. parameters from a fitting – the processed data.

I use to start exploring data in Jupyter notebooks under /notebooks, writing basic functions to delineate a piece of the analysis pipeline, then refactor it under /src once it is functional. This exploratory phase should not eclipse proper coding: write directly in the module and start writing tests soon.

At this point, the nature of the project should define the form of the repository. For a one-off analysis of a small set of measurement, a simple module usually does the trick and one will not bother distributing a proper package. This does not mean lousy code: document and test properly, as this small pieces can be needed in the future, or incorporated in larger projects. An example of this is the code associated to figures in a research article.

For recurrent analysis on new data sets of the same kind, a proper tool is needed. Usually, a Command Line Interface (CLI) is the way to go. Turning a module into a CLI is natural in Python, it just involves a parsing layer module. While Argparse is the basic tool, Click is easy and powerful. Further down the road one may want to create a GUI.

For large scale pipeline analysis with a DAG structure – e.g. bioinformatics studies, processing thousands of files – a Makefile is desirable. Software Carpentry has a great tutorial on the topic.

The distilled information derived from the analysis is usually presented in the form of plots, integrated in a report. A jupyter notebook is usually a good format to put all this together in an interactive and exportable format. All this material is finally found under output and output/figures.


This project is licensed under the terms of the BSD License