Templates: Getting Started on OSF Projects Faster and Easier

Overview: Where to begin? 

A new OSF project is a blank canvas that is flexible and can be modified in multiple ways to fit different research team goals with a flexible collaborative workspace where your team and collaborators can work together in real-time. The problem with a blank project is it can be very difficult for new users to know where to begin, or to know the potential of how to use an OSF project. To help with this problem, we have provided 4 easy steps for any new user to choose a starting template to fit their research team's needs.

Step 1: Choose your Template

Below are example templates of projects on the OSF, and will give you a great starting point to best fit your goals

Blank Templates Explanation of Layout
Lab Manager Research Group This layout includes the project and component (Subproject) layout for 3 different research Initiatives. Including components for each step of the research lifecycle.
Course/Classroom Management This is an example template of how a professor, or educator could use the OSF as a place to house their course materials and assignments, and even post their syllabi.
Electronic Lab Notebook Template Electronic Lab notebooks (ELN) are a great way of taking a pen and paper version of a traditional lab notebook and making it digital
Data Management template Data management plans provide clear instructions about data related to your project. They are often required in grant reporting
Research Team Coordination This template allows Research teams to coordinate grants, experiments, and manuscripts and offers an alternative to the "Lab Manager Research group template"

Step 2: How to create your copy of an OSF project

Start on your project of choice. In the top right corner click on the icon that looks like a splitting line.

You will have two choices for copying the project. These options and meanings are listed below:

Option 1: "Fork this Project"

Forking duplicates the project and any associated files that were stored in OSF Storage into the new project. Note: any links to other projects in the text will not copy the linked project. This is the most effective option if you are the owner of the original project

Once you click "Fork this project", you will receive a pop-up warning. Click "Fork".

A pop-up notification will appear at the top right side of your screen stating if the project was successfully forked.

Go to the email associated with your OSF account to find a link to your forked project. The email should look like the image below.

Option 2: Duplicate Template

If the original project you are copying is not your property, you can duplicate the template of that project. Copying will duplicate the text, component structure, and other essential items, you a great starting point for your work. This option will not copy over any connected add-ons to the new project.

Insert an element

Once you have clicked “Duplicate template”, you will receive a pop-up warning. Click "Create".

Your screen will be gray, and you will see a "please wait" warning as the OSF creates your own personal template:

Once the copying process is complete your screen should load directly to your new template copy of the project. You can tell this is your copy, as you will be the only contributor, and the word "Template" will be in the title of the project.

Step 3: Learn about parts of an OSF Project

For more information on parts of an OSF Project see the links below

1) Components/Sub-projects 2) Contributors 3) Wiki
4) Files 5) Add-ons 6) Privacy settings
7) License 8) Recent Activity 9) Analytics
10) Metadata

Step 4: Explore COS Ambassador OSF Project Examples

Thank you to our fantastic COS ambassadors who help promote the OSF and all open science practices

COS Ambassador Discipline Link to OSF project
Felipe Vilanova Social Psychology https://osf.io/kv9u2/
Flavio Azevedo, Sam Parsons (FORRT) Open scholarship, Open science, Meta-science https://osf.io/g29eu/
Daniel Umpierre Health Sciences https://osf.io/8f67a/
Gizem Solmaz-Ratzlaff Education https://osf.io/xu3wd/
Bawan Amin Ecology https://osf.io/4ymc8/
Georgia Richards Health Research https://osf.io/h239s/

Want to Know More?

For more information and other OSF tips and tricks please see our support guides, or contact OSF Support for more information.

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