Time to get your Shiny on, Shiny Contest 2021 is here!

This is a companion discussion topic for the original entry at https://blog.rstudio.com/2021/03/11/time-to-shiny

We’re excited to announce Shiny Contest 2021! This marks the third year of the Shiny contest, and over the past two years we have been in awe of all of your submissions and we are very much looking forward to seeing what the Shiny community comes up with this year.

Shiny Contest 2021 officially kicks off today and the deadline for submissions is May 14 2021 at 5pm ET. You can submit your entry for the contest by filling out the form at rstd.io/shiny-contest-2021. We strongly recommend getting your submission in well before the deadline so that you have ample time to resolve any last-minute technical hurdles.

You are welcome to submit an existing Shiny app of yours or create a new one in two months. There is no limit on the number of entries one participant can submit. Please submit as many as you wish!

Requirements for the contest are same as before:

Criteria for evaluation:

Just like the last two years, apps will be judged based on technical merit and/or on artistic achievement (e.g., UI design). We recognize that some apps may excel in one of these categories and some in the other, and some in both. Evaluation will be done keeping this in mind and it will also take into account the narrative on the contest submission post. We recommend crafting your submission post with this in mind.


Last year we announced prizes specifically for novice Shiny developers and we were thrilled that over 30% of the submissions were developed by those with less than 1 year experience with Shiny. We would love to see just as many, if not more, submissions from new Shiny developers, and to encourage that, we will again be giving out awards at both novice and experienced developer levels.

The award categories and the associated prizes are as follows:

  • Honorable Mention:
    • One year of shinyapps.io Basic plan or RStudio Cloud Premium.
    • A bunch of hex stickers of RStudio packages
    • A spot on the Shiny User Showcase
  • Runner Up:
    • All prizes listed above, plus
    • Any number of RStudio t-shirts, books, and mugs (worth up to $200)
  • Grand Prizes:
    • All prizes listed above, plus
    • Special & persistent recognition by RStudio in the form of a winners page, and a badge that’ll be publicly visible on your RStudio Community profile
    • Half-an-hour one-on-one with a representative from the RStudio Shiny team for Q&A and feedback

* Please note that we may not be able to send t-shirts, books, or other items larger than stickers to non-US addresses.

The names and work of all winners will be highlighted in the Shiny User Showcase and we will announce them on RStudio’s social platforms, including RStudio Community (unless the winner prefers not to be mentioned).

We will announce the winners and their submissions on the RStudio blog, RStudio Community, and also on Twitter.

Need inspiration?

We really appreciate the time and effort each contestant puts into building their submissions and can’t wait to see what you produce!


Thank you @EconomiCurtis. I would like to participate; however my code includes my MongoDB password. May I put the passwords in a separate file and exclude it from the Git ?

I have a similar question @EconomiCurtis --I currently have a google drive auth token as part of my app. It's stored in a hidden directory that is gitignored, but I did include it in the deployment to shinyapps.io so my app would run.

So, deploying the app to shinyapps.io works fine--but I think I probably can't make the app publicly available in an RStudio Cloud project. Am I understanding that correctly, and can I still submit to the contest?

Can I Still Make a Submission if I Cannot Include Fully Reproducible Code?

We've received a number of questions related to submitting shiny apps that need to hide some information. This is usually due to the need to hide authentication and data base connection details, or to protect private data.

From @Mine; We welcome your submission for the Shiny Contest, even if you need to hide some data or code. However;

  • The deployed shiny app must be fully assessable to the public.
  • A repo must still be submitted. However, the repo – perhaps an altered version of the one running the submitted shiny app – may hide data, authentication or connection details, or other material that you are not able to share. If you do this, please fully document what is obfuscated in the app. Do this either in code comments or on the README.
  • Note that one of the benefits of contest participation is the chance to be included in the Shiny Gallery. However, apps on the Shiny Gallery must match their publicly available repo, and so repos that do not contain fully reproducible app code are unlikely to be invited to join the gallery.

Background motivating this. A big motivation for the Shiny Contest is to encourage people to share their expertise in ways others can easily learn from. We feel an important part of this is for submissions to include code others can clone and run on their own. Hiding code obviously adds substantial frictions in getting an app up and running, or will completely prevent it. And so we'd like to discourage that as much as possible.

However, many great apps may have data or authentication that just can't be shared publicly. (For example, an app may require a connection to a public API which requires one's own authentication, though anyone should have access to the API, it is unreasonable to share your private token or other authentication details.) And so we will create some scope for these kinds of submissions.

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