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Data capsule templates are intended for researchers, librarians, or any HTRC Analytics account holder to be able to share a DC (data capsule) setup with other HTRC users. 

What is a customized research capsule template?

A template is a snapshot, or image, of a pre-existing research data capsule that can be made accessible for other HTRC account holders to find and use. The template is created and set up by one HTRC user who has a research data capsule they wish to share for educational or research purposes. This user downloads additional code libraries, software tools, worksets, and potentially any other data they can access from the internet when in “maintenance mode” and that is not already available in HTRC’s Ubuntu virtual machine, then creates a template from this capsule. See specific steps below.

Please note that at this time templates cannot be used to share HT volumes between capsules or derived data added to the “secure volume” when performing research in secure mode.

Why would I want to create a template?

Perhaps you are responsible for leading workshops on text analysis platforms and would like to demonstrate a specific workflow within the data capsule environment for your attendees. With customized research capsule templates, all attendees can find your public template and start from the same point in the data capsule environment.

The same could be done by instructors wishing to demonstrate the data capsule environment for a class lesson or assignment in a digital humanities course they are teaching. 

Templates allow HTRC users some customization control of a data capsule in use cases where multiple users require access to the same research environment setup.

Why would I want to use a template to create a data capsule?

If you are a student or workshop attendee who needs access to certain required data, tools or Data Capsule setup for a tutorial, project, assignment, or activity, then having access to templates provides an easier option for creating the data capsule your instructor or workshop leader needs you to use, rather than creating the data capsule from scratch.

Think about it: you are in a workshop that is demonstrating how to perform sentiment analysis on a specific list of HathiTrust volumes. Instead of downloading the correct version of the tool your instructor requires, as well as gathering all the correct HathiTrust volume IDs, this is all preloaded for you in the template the instructor created. Simply locate the template under ‘All Templates’, and create the data capsule you need.  

This could also be useful for researchers searching for a template that has a basic setup for research flows and tools you are interested in exploring or if you’re interested in reproducing research conducted within a Data Capsule that has already been published – no need to recreate the wheel if the environment is primed to go. Search ‘All Templates’ and read through their descriptions – click on the title of the template to read what customizations have been added by the template’s creator.

How can I create a template?

Log into your HTRC Analytics account.

In the top navigation bar click on “Data Capsules” and select “My Data Capsules” from the dropdown.

If you have a pre-existing research data capsule in your list, select it by clicking on the capsule ID number. You will be taken to that capsule’s information page.

If you need to set up your data capsule, click the start button and wait for it to be in an RUNNING state. Then use either the ‘Connect via Terminal’ or ‘Connect via Remote Desktop’ buttons to access your virtual machine. In Maintenance mode you have access to the internet, so use this connection to download the libraries and tools you need (you cannot download internet-based resources in Secure mode). See this page to know what already comes pre-installed on all research data capsules.

If you do not have a pre-existing research data capsule, read this page for creation steps. Remember: you can only create templates from research capsules, not demo capsules.

Once your capsule is set up with all your tools and code libraries, stop your data capsule. Your capsule MUST be in SHUTDOWN mode in order to create a template

Click on the ‘More Data Capsule Functions’ dropdown button and select ‘Create a Template.’

Fill in the form on the next page.

In order to make the template viewable to other users, you will need to select the “Make Public” checkbox at the bottom of the form (you can decide to make it public later, however, if you don’t want to make it public right away – in which case, don’t select this checkbox). Try to make your template easily identifiable to others who will be seeking out your template by providing a clear title and description, along with a succinct list of customizations. Click the Submit button when you are finished filling out the form.

Once you have submitted your template form, you will be redirected to the templates list page. If you only would like to see your current list of templates, facet the template list to “My Templates”.

When you initially create a template, it will be in a CREATE_PENDING status. This means that the process of copying your template from the data capsule is happening. You will not be able to perform any functions with a template in this state, such as creating a data capsule with it or deleting it.

Once the template is fully copied, the status will change to ACTIVE. Now you can perform actions like creating a data capsule from the template, and delete or change the public/private status on your personal templates. 

Click on the title of the template to see the template information page. This page shows you the details of the template. Notice that this page also tells you if your template is in a CREATE_PENDING state or ACTIVE in the status field, as well as whether your template is public or private.

Back in the templates list, once your capsule has a status of ACTIVE you can click on the blue ‘Create a Data Capsule’ button, or you can delete the capsule by clicking the trashcan icon.

You can also click back to the template information page, which allows you to create a data capsule as well, or to change the public/private status of the template.

How can I create a data capsule from a template?

You can create a data capsule either from the template list page, or an individual template information page – both spaces provide buttons for accomplishing this task, and both take you to the same form for data capsule creation.

Clicking one of these buttons routes you to the create a research capsule form with your template name pre-populated in the ‘HTRC Data Capsule Template’ field. You will need to fill in the rest of the required fields of this form prior to submission. 

Click the ‘Create Capsule’ button when ready to submit and you will see your new data capsule in your data capsule list page.

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