Including a new topic


  • How to include a new topic?

  • Create a new topic

  • Set up the metadata for a topic

Time estimation: 30 minutes
Supporting Materials
Last modification: Jan 24, 2020
License: Tutorial Content is licensed under Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License The GTN Framework is MIT


Each training material is related to a topic. All training materials (slides, tutorials, …) related to a topic are found in a dedicated directory (e.g. transcriptomics directory contains the material related to exome sequencing analysis). Each topic have the following structure:

├── metadata.yaml
├── images
├── docker
│   ├── Dockerfile
├── slides
│   ├── index.html
├── tutorials
│   ├── tutorial1
│   │   ├──
│   │   ├── slides.html
│   │   ├── data-library.yaml
│   │   ├── workflows
│   │   │   ├──
│   │   │   ├──
│   │   ├── tours
│   │   │   ├── tour.yaml

images directory

The images directory collects all images/pictures needed for the training materials related to the topic, i.e pictures for the slides or the tutorials.

Images shared between several topics are in the shared/images directory at the root.

All images for the slides must be in images directory. The images must be in good quality. The sources (svg or other) of the images must also be added to the images directory. We encourage you to use yEd to easily generate diagrams and Inkscape for any other images.

slides directory

This directory contains introduction slide deck. There could be several slide decks, to cover different aspect. The slides are rendered using remark.js but written in Markdown to facilitate collaboration.

tutorials directory

This directory collects the tutorials related to the topic, one per subdirectory.

The tutorials are hands-on built for workshop and self-training, with description of the whole infrastructure needed to run the tutorial on any Galaxy instance (tools, data library, etc).

The templates for the tutorials are different from the other pages to help users to focus on the content of the tutorial. To improve the output of the tutorial, several metadata are mandatory for every tutorials, such as the requirements or the objectives of the tutorials. Boxes are also used to highlight some key points as the hands-on or the tips.

The content of each tutorial is generated with Jekyll from a Markdown file and some metadata (e.g. the requirements, the Zenodo link, the questions) defined inside the metadata of the related topic.

comment Contributing

Want to contribute to a tutorial? Check out our training materials about that.

Sometimes, an hands-on tutorial is not the most appropriate format for a tutorial and slides are better. The content must be then added in the slides directory.

docker directory

For each topic, a flavored Docker image must integrate the tools needed for the tutorials. The corresponding image must be based on official Galaxy Docker images.

The docker image will also integrate the Galaxy tours available for each topics and the workflows.

Creating a new topic


In this tutorial, we will deal with:

  1. Defining the topic
  2. Creating the skeleton for the topic
  3. Adapt the metadata for your topic

Defining the topic

When we structured the repository, we decided to use as topics the categories that are used in the ToolShed. The ToolShed assigns a category to each tool. Therefore, to decide where to put your tutorial, have a look at which ToolShed’s category the main tools in your tutorial belong. For example, this tutorial will rely on the NCBI Blast+ tool.

hands_on Hands-on: Defining the topic for the tutorial

  1. Search for NCBI Blast+ on the ToolShed
  2. Check in which category it has been placed

    question Questions

    In which topic will you put the new tutorial?

    solution Solution

    If we search for NCBI Blast+ in the ToolShed, it is placed in 2 categories (bottom): “Next Gen Mappers”, and “Sequence Analysis”. We decided to put it in “Sequence analysis” because this is the most general one for this tutorial.

In this tutorial, we want to add a new topic called about “my-favorite-topic”.

Creating the skeleton for the topic

Once the topic name has been chosen, we can create it.

hands_on Hands-on: Create all the required files and folders structures automatically

  1. Open a terminal
  2. Run (by adapting the information between the quotes)

    $ planemo training_init \
             --topic_name "my-favorite-topic" \
             --topic_title "Test" \
             --topic_target "use" \
             --topic_summary "Summary of the topic"
  3. Check that a new directory has been generated in topics
  4. Check that a YAML file with your topic name has been generated in metadata folder
  5. Make sure that Jekyll is running

    comment Jekyll

    Want to learn how to start Jekyll? Check out our tutorial to serve the website locally

  6. Check if the topic has been correctly added at http://localhost:4000/training-material/

Adapt the metadata for your topic

Several metadata are defined in metadata.yaml file in your topic folder to :

  • name: name of the topic (name of the folder)
  • title: title of the topic (the one displayed on the webpage)
  • type: target for the topic (‘use’, ‘admin-dev’, ‘instructors’)
  • summary: summary of the focus of the topic
  • requirements: list of resources that the reader of the material should be familiar with before starting any tutorial in this topic:
    • type: the type of link (internal or external)

    For internal, i.e. inside the Galaxy Training Material:

    • topic_name: name of the topic
    • tutorials: list of required tutorials inside of the topic

    For external:

    • title: title of the external resource
    • link: URL to the external resource
  • docker_image: name of the Docker image for the topic If no Docker image exists for this topic, let this information empty

  • subtopics: for large topics, we can define subtopics and create multiple tutorial lists:
        title: "Single Cell Analysis"
        description: "These tutorials cover single cell analysis"
        title: "Small RNA"
        description: "These Tutorial"

    tutorials can be assigned to subtopics by adding e.g. subtopic: singlecell to the tutorial metadata. An example of this subtopic division can be found in the admin section

  • maintainers: GitHub username of people maintaining the topic
  • gitter: The name of the chatroom on Gitter, if enabled, it will be embedded on the topic and tutorial pages. Should be formatted like ../.., without the, e.g. galaxyproject/dev

hands_on Hands-on: Update the new topic to the website

  1. Open the metadata.yaml file in your topic folder
  2. Fill the correct metadata of the topic
  3. Make sure that Jekyll is running

    comment Jekyll

    Want to learn how to start Jekyll? Check out our tutorial to serve the website locally

  4. Check how it changes the local website


We just created a new topic. We can now fill it by creating new tutorials

Key points

  • A new topic can be easily added for new tutorials

Frequently Asked Questions

Have questions about this tutorial? Check out the FAQ page for the Contributing to the Galaxy Training Material topic to see if your question is listed there. If not, please ask your question on the GTN Gitter Channel or the Galaxy Help Forum


Did you use this material as an instructor? Feel free to give us feedback on how it went.

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Citing this Tutorial

  1. Bérénice Batut, 2020 Including a new topic (Galaxy Training Materials). Online; accessed TODAY
  2. Batut et al., 2018 Community-Driven Data Analysis Training for Biology Cell Systems 10.1016/j.cels.2018.05.012

details BibTeX

author = "Bérénice Batut",
title = "Including a new topic (Galaxy Training Materials)",
year = "2020",
month = "01",
day = "24"
url = "\url{}",
note = "[Online; accessed TODAY]"
    doi = {10.1016/j.cels.2018.05.012},
    url = {},
    year = 2018,
    month = {jun},
    publisher = {Elsevier {BV}},
    volume = {6},
    number = {6},
    pages = {752--758.e1},
    author = {B{\'{e}}r{\'{e}}nice Batut and Saskia Hiltemann and Andrea Bagnacani and Dannon Baker and Vivek Bhardwaj and Clemens Blank and Anthony Bretaudeau and Loraine Brillet-Gu{\'{e}}guen and Martin {\v{C}}ech and John Chilton and Dave Clements and Olivia Doppelt-Azeroual and Anika Erxleben and Mallory Ann Freeberg and Simon Gladman and Youri Hoogstrate and Hans-Rudolf Hotz and Torsten Houwaart and Pratik Jagtap and Delphine Larivi{\`{e}}re and Gildas Le Corguill{\'{e}} and Thomas Manke and Fabien Mareuil and Fidel Ram{\'{\i}}rez and Devon Ryan and Florian Christoph Sigloch and Nicola Soranzo and Joachim Wolff and Pavankumar Videm and Markus Wolfien and Aisanjiang Wubuli and Dilmurat Yusuf and James Taylor and Rolf Backofen and Anton Nekrutenko and Björn Grüning},
    title = {Community-Driven Data Analysis Training for Biology},
    journal = {Cell Systems}

Congratulations on successfully completing this tutorial!

Developing GTN training material

This tutorial is part of a series to develop GTN training material, feel free to also look at:
  1. Overview of the Galaxy Training Material
  2. Adding auto-generated video to your slides
  3. Contributing with GitHub via command-line
  4. Contributing with GitHub via its interface
  5. Creating a new tutorial
  6. Creating content in Markdown
  7. Creating Interactive Galaxy Tours
  8. Creating Slides
  9. Generating PDF artefacts of the website
  10. Including a new topic
  11. Running the GTN website locally
  12. Running the GTN website online using GitPod
  13. Tools, Data, and Workflows for tutorials
  14. Updating diffs in admin training