Totally Science Gitlab? A Comprehensive Overview 2023

Totally Science Gitlab is an innovative platform that helps scientists and researchers collaborate on projects and manage workflows. It provides tools for version control, issue tracking, wikis, and continuous integration/deployment (CI/CD) pipelines. Gitlab is designed specifically for the needs of the scientific community to improve productivity and efficiency.

Introduction to TotallyScience Gitlab

TotallyScience Gitlab is based on the popular Git version control system. It enables teams of researchers to work together on code, data, papers, and more. Key features and benefits of Totally Science Gitlab include:

  • Version Control– Track changes and collaborate on code, documents, and data files. Revert to previous versions. Maintain a full history of changes.
  • Source Code Management– Manage source code for software projects and scripts. Review code, and merge changes from multiple developers.
  • Issue Tracking– Create tickets to track tasks, bugs, and feature requests. Assign issues, and set milestones and priorities.
  • Continuous Integration– Automatically build, test, and deploy your code changes to avoid integration problems.
  • Wikis– Write and maintain project documentation in a built-in wiki.
  • Access Control– Manage user permissions on projects and repositories. Control who can view, edit, and contribute.
  • ** packages** – Publish and share packages such as R libraries, Python packages, and docker images.
  • Built-in CI/CD– Comes with a built-in continuous integration and deployment server. Easily create pipelines to build, test, and deploy your code.
  • Container Registry– Store and manage Docker and other containers for your projects.
  • Kubernetes Integration– GitLab’s Kubernetes integration makes it easier to deploy your applications to a Kubernetes cluster.
  • Integrations– Integrates with popular tools like Jira, Trello, Slack, and more.

Benefits of Using TotallyScience Gitlab

Totally Science Gitlab provides major advantages for scientific teams compared to general-purpose platforms like GitHub:

  • Specialized for Science– Gitlab includes features tailored specifically for the workflows and needs of scientific research. This makes collaboration more efficient.
  • Enables Open Science– Open source code, open data, transparency. Gitlab facilitates open science and collaboration.
  • Handles Large Data Files– Optimized to deal with large data sets and files like genomes, imaging data, etc.
  • Promotes Reproducible Research– By sharing code and data on Gitlab, scientists can more easily reproduce and verify published results.
  • Simplifies Compliance– Gitlab has security, access controls, and audit logs to help comply with regulations like HIPAA for medical research.
  • Flexible Access Control– Fine-grained control over permissions to protect confidential data and IP where needed.
  • Scales from Small to Large Teams– Gitlab scales from solo researchers up to large collaborations with thousands of members.
  • Reduces Admin Overhead– Automated management and maintenance through CI/CD, reducing sysadmin workload.
  • Lower Costs– No vendor lock-in. Avoid costs of proprietary solutions. GitLab is available as a low-cost SaaS or can be self-hosted.

Core Components and Features

Totally Science Gitlab includes a robust set of features and capabilities tailored for scientific use cases:


  • Store and collaborate on code, data, documentation
  • Advanced file management handles large files with Git LFS
  • Public and private repositories

Merge Requests

  • Like pull requests in GitHub, merge requests let you review code changes before merging into a branch
  • Discuss and review proposed updates to code, papers, data
  • Ensure changes meet requirements before merging


  • The issue tracker for reporting bugs, tasks, and feature requests
  • Labels, milestones, assignees, due dates
  • Related issues, blocking issues, etc


  • Write and maintain documentation for your project
  • Wikis integrated with the repository
  • Supports Markdown, diagrams, math formulas, and more


  • Share code snippets, commands, configs, notes
  • Useful for samples, templates, how-to documents

Continuous Integration / Deployment

  • Comes built-in with GitLab CI/CD
  • Run automated scripts to build, test, and deploy your application when new commits are pushed
  • Supports popular languages and frameworks

Package Management

  • Publish packages for your projects like Python, R, Ruby, and npm packages
  • Includes a container registry for Docker images
  • Promote the reuse and sharing of valuable components

Kubernetes Integration

  • Manage your Kubernetes clusters and applications from within GitLab
  • Review apps, canary deployments, logs, and metrics


  • Connects with external tools like Jira, Trello, Slack, Sentry and more
  • Single sign-on (SSO) options
  • REST API and GitLab API to extend and integrate with other systems

Use Cases for Totally Science Gitlab

Gitlab is highly flexible and can support many different scientific use cases:

Core Lab Management

  • Manage protocols, samples, inventory, equipment calibration, ordering
  • Track project tasks and participant management
  • Wikis for lab knowledge base, protocols, how-tos

Computational Research

  • Develop analysis code and scripts to process study data
  • Publish cleaned, anonymized datasets
  • Data visualization and notebook-style documentation of analysis

Field Studies

  • Plan field sites, samples, and measurements to collect
  • Mobile apps to collect observational data, integrate with Gitlab
  • Geospatial analysis of field data

Clinical and Translational Research

  • Multisite collaborations and study management
  • Patient intake, randomization, data collection forms
  • HIPAA-compliant access controls for protected health data

Scientific Software Development

  • Manage software projects for modeling, simulation, visualization
  • Develop open-source scientific software that others can use
  • Package libraries for publishing on languages like R and Python

Literature Reviews

  • Collect and curate a corpus of academic papers and sources
  • Annotate, tag sources, identify themes
  • Synthesize conclusions and draft manuscripts

Conference Organization

  • Manage conference website content, calls for papers
  • Submission portal for abstracts and papers
  • The review process for evaluating submissions

Publishing Open Data

  • Provide access to datasets for the scientific community to analyze
  • Ensure proper documentation and metadata to support reproducibility

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Working with Gitlab – A Quickstart Guide

Gitlab is a powerful, flexible tool. Here is a high-level guide to help you get started:

###Sign Up and Create A Project

First, sign up for an account on or an on-premises/private cloud instance. Once logged in, you can create a new project which will create a repository to store your work.

###Add Project Members

Invite team members to your project and grant access permissions based on their role. Control who can view, edit, or administer the project.

###Work With Repository Files

You can now add files to your repository through the web interface, Git command line, or a GUI client. Commit changes to save new versions.

###Track Issues and Tasks

As you work, use the built-in issue tracker to record bugs, task lists, feature requests, and more.

###Automate With CI/CD Pipelines

Set up CI/CD pipelines to run tests and deploy your application automatically when new code is pushed to the repo.

###Document in Wikis

Keep project documentation, protocols, notes, and other documents in the built-in wiki for easy reference.

###Integrate Tools

Connect your existing tools like Slack, Trello, Sentry, and more using GitLab’s integrations.

###Manage Access and Security

Use groups, permissions, and settings like protected branches to carefully control who can access and modify your data and code.

FAQ about Totally Science Gitlab

Here are answers to some frequently asked questions about TotallyScience Gitlab:

Q: Is Totally Science Gitlab free to use?

A: Yes, GitLab has a very generous free tier available at with unlimited public and private repositories. Paid tiers offer additional features, storage, users, and support. GitLab can also be self-hosted on your servers and infrastructure.

Q: What programming languages and tech does GitLab support?

A: GitLab supports all major programming languages including Python, R, JavaScript, Java, C/C++, Go, and more. It provides CI/CD pipelines tailored for popular stacks like Node, Python, Java, PHP, and Ruby on Rails.

Q: Can I import my projects from GitHub or Bitbucket?

A: Yes, GitLab offers imports from both GitHub and Bitbucket to easily migrate existing projects over to GitLab.

Q: Does GitLab comply with regulations like HIPAA for medical research?

A: Yes. GitLab enables HIPAA compliance controls including access restrictions, audit logs, encrypted data storage, and other required rules.

Q: Can I host GitLab on my infrastructure?

A: Absolutely. GitLab comes in a convenient Omnibus package for installation on your own servers or cloud infrastructure. Fully managed by you with no third-party cloud required.

Q: What support options are available for GitLab?

A: There is an active community forum for asking questions and getting help. Paid tiers include email support and SLAs (service level agreements).

Q: Does GitLab integrate with tools like Jupyter Notebook and RStudio?

A: Yes, there are extensions and integrations available that allow you to navigate and manage GitLab repositories from Jupyter, RStudio, and other scientific tools.

Q: Can I try out GitLab for free without having to sign up?

A: GitLab allows you to browse projects and navigate the interface without logging in so you can get a feel for it before signing up at


In summary, Science Gitlab provides an excellent platform tailored specifically to meet the version control, collaboration, CI/CD, and project management needs of the scientific research community. The specialized features for science along with GitLab’s leading support for managing code make it an ideal solution to boost productivity and innovation. While generalized tools like GitHub serve many use cases well, TotallyScience Gitlab is purpose-built for the intricacies of scientific workflows and collaboration. Researchers and labs of all sizes and disciplines can benefit from using Totally Science Gitlab for their projects.

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