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The Datalad handbook 📙

This is a living resource on why and - more importantly - how to use DataLad. The rendered version is here:, and is currently under initial development.

The handbook is a practical, hands-on crashcourse to learn and experience DataLad. You do not need to be a programmer, computer scientist, or Linux-crank. If you have never touched your computer's shell before, you will be fine. Regardless of your background and personal use cases for DataLad, the handbook will show you the principles of DataLad, and from chapter 1 onwards you will be using them.


Contributions in any form - pull requests, issues, content requests/ideas, ... are always welcome. If you are using the handbook and find that something does not work, please let us know. Likewise, if you are using DataLad for your individual project, consider contributing by telling us about your use-case. You can find out more on how to contribute here, and a list of all contributors so far below, in, and in .zenodo.json.

Notes for Instructors

The book is the basis for workshops and lectures on DataLad and data management. The handbook's course repository among other things contains live casts from the code examples in this book and slides. It is constantly growing, and everyone is free to use the material under the license terms below. Contributions and feedback are very welcome.


CC-BY-SA: You are free to

  • share - copy and redistribute the material in any medium or format
  • adapt - remix, transform, and build upon the material for any purpose, even commercially

under the following terms:

  1. Attribution — You must give appropriate credit, provide a link to the license, and indicate if changes were made. You may do so in any reasonable manner, but not in any way that suggests the licensor endorses you or your use.

  2. ShareAlike — If you remix, transform, or build upon the material, you must distribute your contributions under the same license as the original.


Thanks goes to these wonderful people (emoji key):

Adina S. Wagner

💻 🖋 📖 🎨 🤔 🚇 🚧 📆 👀 📓 📢 ⚠️ 🐛 💡 💬 ️️️️♿️

Laura Waite

🤔 🚧 👀 📢 💬 🖋

Michael Hanke

💬 🐛 💻 🖋 📖 🎨 💡 🤔 🚇 🚧 🔌 📆 👀 🔧 ⚠️ 📢 📓 ️️️️♿️

Kyle Meyer

🐛 👀 💬 🖋 🤔

Marisa Heckner

🤔 📓 🐛 🖋

Benjamin Poldrack

💬 🤔 💡

Yaroslav Halchenko

👀 🖋 🤔 🐛

Chris Markiewicz


Pattarawat Chormai

🐛 💻

Lisa N. Mochalski

🐛 🖋 💡 🤔

Lisa Wiersch


Jean-Baptiste Poline


Nevena Kraljevic


Alex Waite


Lya K. Paas

🐛 💻

Niels Reuter


Peter Vavra

🤔 📓

Tobias Kadelka


Peer Herholz


This project follows the all-contributors specification. Contributions of any kind welcome!

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