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.


Bitbucket is a free hosting site for open-source computer program source code. Bitbucket supports version control, offsite backup, and access by multiple authenticated users.

Basic programming skillsFree

Box allows you to store and share content online. Files and folders can be shared as web links, files and folders can be synced from the desktop. This means that files can be automatically backed up from multiple computers/devices, and stored on the Box server. It provides searching tools, and the ability to view files without downloading.

Box supports standard web browsers and mobile devices such as Android, iPhone and iPad. It can be automatically accessed through a variety of other mobile apps, and it integrates with other collaboration software such as Google Docs, Gmail, Microsoft Sharepoint, etc. Box.net allows free use of up to 5 GB of storage, and has pricing plans for enterprise capabilities, larger storage use and some additional features such as versioning, encrypted storage, etc.

No programmingFree

CiteBank is an open access repository to aggregate citations for biodiversity publications and deliver access to biodiversity related articles. It provides search and browse capabilities to biodiversity publications stored in multiple international repositories. There is a storage platform for articles and documents that are digitized, but not yet online. It also provides a common system for scholars to share their specialist bibliographies. Users can upload, edit, and share their own personal lists of references and citations. CiteBank indexes the Biodiversity Heritage Library (BHL).

No programmingFree

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.


DRAMBORA is the Digital Repository Audit Method Based On Risk Assessment. The methodology takes a risk-focused approach to assessing the status of repositories and other digital asset collections and supports repository managers or collection custodians in managing the risks associated with their collections, from direct physical risk (such as fire and flood) to less tangible risks such as reputational damage.

In a similar way to the Data Asset Framework, the DRAMBORA tool supports users engaged in carrying out a DRAMBORA audit and allows the sharing and maintenance of their repository audit paperwork.

DRAMBORA has both web-based and downloadable versions of their risk assessment tool.

No programmingFree

Registration is required.

ESRI ArcGIS Online

ArcGIS Online is a system created by ESRI aimed at providing a common platform to find, share, and organize geographic content and to build GIS applications. The web front end to ArcGIS Online is ArcGIS.com. Through ArcGIS Online you can access maps, applications, and tools published by ESRI and other geographic information systems (GIS) users.

ArcGIS Online provides web services that the user can use as data sources in ESRI products such as ArcMap, and for geoprocessing and analysis.

You can also upload and share your own content through ArcGIS Online. ArcGIS Online enables you to control who can access the resources that you upload. You can create one or more user groups, within which you an share resources and collaborate. ESRI provides services that enable you to host your own content in ArcGIS Online, and you can publish your content as part of a community basemap that users can access freely through ArcGIS Online as a map service. ArcGIS Online also includes tools for creating online maps and for viewing maps created by others.

No programmingFree
Generic Member Node (GMN)

The DataONE Generic Member Node (GMN) is a complete open-source implementation of a DataONE Member Node (MN). As such, it is a data preservation-oriented repository, and one that manages its content collection through the DataONE MN_Storage API. GMN accepts any metadata format, and provides byte-level persistence of objects.

GMN can be used as a standalone Member Node or it can be used for exposing data that is already available by URL. In the latter case, GMN provides a DataONE compatible interface to existing data and does not store the data. Instead it maintains the associated System Metadata, and other DataONE-specific structures.

GMN can also be used as a software starting point or reference for a 3rd party MN implementation.

If an organization wishes to donate storage space to DataONE, GMN can be set up as a replication target.

GMN is built using the Django Framework and utilizes Apache2 as the web server and PostgresSQL as the underlying RDBMS. Other configurations are possible via adaptation.

Basic programming skillsFree

Hydrant is a web-based scientific workflow application that is designed to interact with the open source scientific workflow tool Kepler, enabling efficient, user-friendly scientific workflow processing. Hydrant allows scientists to: discover, view and load Kepler workflows; view and edit properties of Kepler Actors; execute workflows; and share workflows and results.

No programmingFree
Mercurial (Hg)

Mercurial is a free, distributed source control management tool and is used for version control of files. Mercurial is distributed, giving each developer a local copy of the entire development history.

  • It works independently of network access or a central server.
  • Committing, branching and merging are fast and cheap.
  • You can generate diffs between revisions, or jump back in time within seconds and is suitable for large projects.
  • Mercurial is platform independent. Most of Mercurial is written in Python, with a small part in portable C for performance reasons.
  • The functionality of Mercurial can be expanded with extensions, which can change the workings of the basic commands, add new commands and access all the core functions of Mercurial.
  • The basic interface is easy to use, easy to learn and hard to break.
No programmingFree