Announcing winners of the 1st Bookdown Contest

As promised, I'm going to announce the winners of the 1st Bookdown Contest today. First of all, I'd like to thank all people who participated this contest. I happily spent a whole week on reviewing all the 43 submissions. Then I had a hard time wrestling with myself because it was so hard to pick the best entries. On one hand, (in theory) I had to make 43 * (43 - 1) = 903 pairwise comparisons to decide the winners. On the other hand, the number of submissions which I thought should receive the awards is certainly bigger than what I planned (1 + 2 + 10). In the end, I decided to slightly increase the number of awards to 1 + 3 + 12, so that I could stop banging my head against the wall. That said, I still strongly believe some other submissions are worth mentioning in this announcement (which I'll do in the a reply after this announcement).

Before I announce the winners, let me share a nice graph to illustrate the purpose of the contest. I came across a package named aggiedown two weeks ago. After I looked at its network graph on Github, I felt extremely excited. This, is exactly what I have been hoping to see:

(The above graph was truncated; the actual version is much taller)

In the beginning was Chester Ismay's thesisdown package. Then you can see how other people forked it and made all kinds of derivations: huskydown, gauchodown, wildcatdown, oxdown, sotonthesis, bulldown, beaverdown, ...

Down Down Down! The open source river streaming down! What could be better than that?

With this contest, I want to encourage bookdown users to share your authoring experience and the extensions you have developed to make it even easier for other users to write their own books, reports, and dissertations, etc. I only have two hands and 24 hours a day, and there is still a lot of room for improvement in the bookdown package (e.g., I was not satisfied with the support for the Tufte style in bookdown). I was sure that the community could help. And here we go:

Grand prize

Recipient: @pabloc for Data Science Live Book

Pablo showed the possibility of publishing a book with bookdown all by yourself (i.e., self-publishing). If you are interested in self-publishing books, I courage you to read the two blog posts mentioned in the submission, which covered a lot of useful and practical technical tips.

The book is open source on Github (of course!). I hope you could hesitate no more after seeing Pablo's example, and will enjoy the excitement of having a physical copy of your book in your own hands a couple of months later. I'm sure Pablo will be happy to help if you have any questions on self-publishing.

Runner Up Prizes

The three recipients and their work:

There were several submissions on dissertation/thesis templates, and the above two were picked because 1) the authors have successfully graduated with their degrees, which means they must have won in the constant fight with their graduate schools (I kind of lost in 2013, so they "made it up" for me to some extent); (2) they provided both PDF and web versions of their theses. Pranav's thesis was based on Chester Ismay's thesisdown package. Chester really should have received the award, too, but I think the large number of theses, including Pranav's, is the best award for Chester.

Honorable Mention Prizes

Recipients and their work:

Congratulations to all recipients! Please email or message me with your preferences of the awards (RStudio t-shirts/mugs) and postal addresses. Once again, many thank to all participants of this contest!


Other submissions worth mentioning


Congratulations to all the winners and thank you @yihui for the first bookdown contest.


Congratulations winners and Thanks @yihui for the mention. I know wouldn't get anything materialistic but this opportunity to explore bookdown slightly deeper with this contest is a nice reward.


Huge high five for the winners, and also congratulations for all the rest of participants -- it's great to see others work and contribution to R community :slight_smile:


Thanks @yihui, and congrats everyone!

I guess I'll try again next year when {backyard} will no longer be a WIP :slight_smile:


Thank you @yihui for carefully reviewing and congratulate everyone! :partying_face:
It has been less than 2 months since I entered into bookdown world, and now I fall in love with it (after finishing assignments in class :thinking:) !


Thanks @yihui and congrats to every participants !


Thanks @yihui for this package, it allows us to express what we explored in this data journey.
And sure, I'll be happy to assist others in their publications :slight_smile:


Thank you @yihui! Congtats to all the winners! It is my great honor to be one of them and I have learnt a lot from the contest!


Thanks @yihui! This is such a great community and toolset. I was actually thinking of submitting aggiedown, but was focused on finishing my dissertation...which I did, and they accepted it, aggiedown template and all!

I'm actually more excited that other/fellow grad students at UC Davis will be able to use the template (and make it better I hope). So thanks for pointing out aggiedown, and look forward to getting better at bookdown/blogdown.


Thank you, @yihui! As you hinted at before, the main reward is a curated list of resources for all of us as future writers. Congratulations, everyone! Thank you for sharing your work and getting the word out.


thank you very much. without your help, I do not know this contest. thanks for yihui's help.

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