Kirstie Whitaker

University of Cambridge

 

10 simple rules for running an open and inclusive projects online

 

There are many reasons why open source projects have difficulty attracting contributors. Current academic incentive structures are some of the strongest. Wanting to maintain a competitive advantage, too great a focus on novelty when publishing papers, and too little credit given to writing documentation and tutorials, all encourage researchers to reinvent the wheel in a closed team. Although I will discuss these barriers, my talk will focus on some challenges that are much easier to overcome. Not knowing where to start. “Imposter syndrome” and the various intersecting biases that accompany (and often underpin) it. Being unsure as to whether a project even wants any contributions. These can all be addressed with 10 simple rules. From laying out your welcome mat, through setting explicit expectations, to the graceful death of your project, these steps will help you build and run an open and inclusive community-driven project online. (Breaking down capitalism may have to wait for another day.)