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Digital Scholarship Resources

Constellate Beta

Constellate is the new free text and data analysis platform from JSTOR and Portico that allows users to build datasets from JSTOR resources and perform text analytics and other research through the use of Python and Jupyter notebooks. It's cloud-based, meaning there's nothing to install before you get started. In addition to the "free tier" available to all, the University of Missouri Libraries currently has additional beta access to enable our users to build larger data sets and utilize additional compute resources.

To get started, visit Constellate at https://tdm-pilot.org. Using this hyperlink should ensure that you get MU access to the additional resources. Before getting started, ensure that the upper right corner of the page shows "Access provided by University of Missouri, Columbia."

From here, feel free to visit the resources under "Tutorials" for beginner and intermediate lessons on using Python and Jupyter notebooks, as well as lessons on text and data analysis functions in Python.

The basic process for use, under the Research menu, is to

  1. Build a search that retrieves a number of documents of interest. This is your research dataset.
  2. From your dataset dashboard, select a dataset and click the "Analyze" button underneath it. This will display a menu of choices to launch Jupyter notebooks on the Constellate servers. These are divided into heavily-commented "Tutorial" versions, which guide you through a basic analysis with descriptions of each step along with the code, and "Analysis" versions that contain just the code with fewer explanatory comments.
  3. Run the code. When the notebook opens, it will consist of "cells" of comments or code. To "run" a code cell, click the "Play" button in the menu bar, or click inside a cell and press "Shift+Enter" on your keyboard. If the code in a cell displays any output, it will appear below the cell.
  4. Let us know how it's going! With our Beta access, we are looking to be able to provide feedback on how it works, how it performs, bugs, errors, any other difficulties, and any other comments. So let us know how it works for you!

For more information on beginning Python, Jupyter notebooks, version control, and TDM with Constellate, keep an eye on our Workshops page for upcoming Software Carpentry or other Digital Scholarship workshops.