TitleBodyTechnical Expertise RequiredCostAdditional Information
Basecamp Collaboration Apps

Signals offers a suite of web-based collaboration applications. All applications are mobile-optimized.

Basecamp - Project Management

  • Project organization, task management
  • Milestone tracking
  • File storage/sharing

Highrise - Contact Management

  • Tracking of proposals/contracts/drafts
  • Contact list management
  • Task management

Backpack - File/Information Sharing

  • Document management, file storage
  • Management of documentation
  • Logistical coordination/organization

Campfire - Collaborative Chat Room Space

  • Chat room space with history tracking
  • Conference calling capability
  • Image/graphic sharing during collaboration
No programmingFree

Cost varies based on usage. There are initial, free levels of service, but higher numbers of users and data in the system will lead to increasing levels of cost. A single sign-on can be used across applications.


Confluence is a commercial wiki product used by many universities, open source software efforts, etc. It is a product of Atlassian, and provides rich and flexible editing capabilities and a plugin environment to extend the features of the wiki. There is an extensive range of plugins. Many organizations use it for documentation, group collaboration, project or course sites, knowledge management, internal web sites, etc. It supports a range of access control options for supporting anything from private to group to open-to-the-world access for viewing and editing. It also supports a range of export options that make it easy to get information out of the wiki in a form that can be easily re-purposed.

No programmingCost-basis

Non-profits and Open Source projects can use Confluence for free, and academic pricing is relatively inexpensive. See http://www.atlassian.com/software/confluence/pricing.jsp for more detailed information.


Dash is an open source, community driven project that takes a unique approach to data publication and digital preservation.

Dash focuses on search, presentation, and discovery and delegates the responsibility for the data preservation function to the underlying repository with which it is integrated. It is a project based at the University of California Curation Center (UC3), a program at California Digital Library (CDL) that aims to develop interdisciplinary research data infrastructure.

Basic programming skillsFree

In today’s technologically advanced world, the data generated by researchers is increasingly born digital and subject to intensive transformation and analyses before publication. The various file formats, software, and hardware required to succeed in the modern research landscape can become daunting, especially since education about digital data management has not kept pace with these technological advancements. There is a significant gap between the data management skills needed by modern researchers and their current abilities; the gap is more noticeable given the current increase in funder

Dash is an open source, community driven project that takes a unique approach to data publication and digital preservation. Dash focuses on search, presentation, and discovery and delegates the responsibility for the data preservation function to the underlying repository with which it is integrated.

Dash is based at the University of California Curation Center (UC3), a program at California Digital Library (CDL) that aims to develop interdisciplinary research data infrastructure. Dash employs a multi-tenancy user interface providing partners with extensive opportunities for local branding and customization, use of existing campus login credentials, and, importantly, offering the Dash service under a tenant-specific URL, an important consideration helping to drive adoption. We welcome collaborations with other organizations wishing to provide a simple, intuitive data publication service on top of more cumbersome legacy systems.

There are currently seven live instances of Dash: - UC Berkeley - UC Irvine - UC Merced - UC Office of the President - UC Riverside - UC Santa Cruz - UC San Francisco - ONEshare (in partnership with DataONE)

Architecture and Implementation

Dash is completely open source. Our code is made publicly available on GitHub (http://cdluc3.github.io/dash/). Dash is based on an underlying Ruby-on-Rails data publication platform called Stash. Stash encompasses three main functional components: Store, Harvest, and Share.

  • Store: The Store component is responsible for the selection of datasets; their description in terms of configurable metadata schemas, including specification of ORCID and Fundref identifiers for researcher and funder disambiguation; the assignment of DOIs for stable citation and retrieval; designation of an optional limited time embargo; and packaging and submission to the integrated repository
  • Harvest: The Harvest component is responsible for retrieval of descriptive metadata from that repository for inclusion into a Solr search index
  • Share: The Share component, based on GeoBlacklight, is responsible for the faceted search and browse interface

Dropbox is an on-line file storage and sharing service. 2GB of Dropbox is available for free, with subscriptions up to 100GB available. Shared folders allow people to work together on the same projects and documents.

Dropbox files are also available off-line, and folders can be synced between multiple computers and mobile devices. Dropbox therefore can be used as a backup mechanism for important files, although it is by no means a complete solution.

No programmingFree

Drupal is a open source CMS (Content Management System) for websites. Drupal enables webmasters to create professional websites with a minimal amount of specialized coding or systems support.

Drupal's architecture consists of a core platform that can be customized with user-supplied profiles, modules, themes, and languages. Drupal separates content from presentation, and -- when combined with Drupal's "codeless" module building -- allows high flexibility, while maintaining relative simplicity. This yields high productivity in designing and deploying a wide variety of websites, thus driving Drupal's wide user base.

Code (when required) is written in PHP and the content is stored in a MySQL database. In general, Drupal is fairly approachable for someone with basic programming and web authoring skills. It is a generally low-overhead solution for web page construction that enables multiple contributors. Many university departments support Drupal for their investigators and will help with Drupal administration.

Basic programming skillsFree

The FAIRDOMHub is built upon the SEEK software suite, which is an open source web platform for sharing scientific research assets, processes and outcomes.

No programmingFree
Google Docs

Google Docs provides for web-based creation, editing and management of:

textual documents
Users can upload and download documents in different formats, and Google Docs can be used as a basic migration tool between them. The tool allows collaborative real-time editing by multiple users of the same document. It also allows users to share collections of documents with others. Different permission levels can be assigned to documents, restricting access to individuals, groups, or open to the public.

No programmingFree
Google Groups

Google Groups supports the creation of discussion forums for virtual communities to share information via the internet. It is a free mailing list service and can provide open access. Groups can be open or closed. Users can be anonymous. Posts can be made through the web browser or by sending email. It also provides a variety of group management functions. Google Groups archives past posts/emails.

No programmingFree

Wikipedia entry about Google Groups: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Google_Groups

Google Public Data Explorer

​Google Public Data Explorer provides an interface for exploring, visualizing and sharing large datasets. Its interactive visualization tools enable changes to be tracked over time. Although primarily intended to enable non-specialists to interrogate public datasets, users can also upload their own data after describing them in Datset Publishing Language (DSPL). The tool is in beta form.

No programmingFree
Google Sites

Google Sites is a software technology created by Google that enables you to quickly create a collaborative website. Multiple people can work together on a Google Site to add file attachments and new, free-form pages and content. Google Sites uses an editor for creating content that is very much like editing a document. Creators of a Google Site have control over who has access (via Google accounts), or a Google Site can be published so that it is accessible to the public.

Google Sites are hosted by Google, so you do not need a server or specific information technology (IT) expertise. You do not need to know how to code HTML, but there is still a lot of flexibility for you to control the look, feel, and content of your site. Other supported features include uploading files and attachments. Google Sites is also integrated with other Google products, so you can insert videos from YouTube, documents, spreadsheets, and presentations from Google docs, images from Picasa, and calendars from Google Calendar. You can also search across Google Sites pages and content using Google search.

No programmingFree