GitHub for community management

In STEM, it is not unusual for communities to form around the development, maintenance, and evolution of open source software tools that are used in scientific research. In these cases, community members regularly use the versioning platform GitHub to collaborate. Many of the features of GitHub (including user profiles, the ability to create and comment on content, etc.), combined with the fact that it is a platform with which many scientists are familiar, make it an increasingly popular community engagement tool. 

On this page, you can find resources, blog posts, and other materials related to managing communities on GitHub. In some cases, these can be applied to community management on other online platforms.  

COMING SOON: We recently launched Birdaro – a project to support open source software (OSS) projects as they consider scaling and plans for long term sustainability, thanks to funding from the Chan Zuckerberg Initiative. As the Birdaro project progresses, we will be creating additional resources to support community engagement in open source. If you are working with open source communities, we encourage you to sign up for the Birdaro mailing list, and/or reach out to info@birdaro.org to explore opportunities for collaboration. 

Using GitHub to support community management

Following a series of Tools Trials in 2023 (see below for more information), we released a collection of resources related to building community on GitHub. 

An overview of GitHub

CSCCE Tech Tip Sheet: Using GitHub for community management

by Katie Pratt, Alex Kalderimis, Yanina Bellini Saibene, Danny Garside, Julia Koehler Leman, Maneesha Sane, Anne Lee Steele, Sanket Verma, Emily Lescak, Alycia Crall, and Lou Woodley

July 9, 2024

In this tip sheet, we’ve curated some basic information about GitHub and how you can get started on the platform as a scientific community manager.

Community management in GitHub: Case studies

CSCCE Tech Case Study: Using GitHub to manage session proposals for CarpentryCon

by Katie Pratt, Emily Lescak, Maneesha Sane, Alycia Crall, and Lou Woodley

July 9, 2024

In this case study, we summarize how The Carpentries uses GitHub to organize their flagship conference, CarpentryCon.

CSCCE Tech Case Study: Using GitHub to plan community calls for rOpenSci

by Yanina Bellini Saibene, Katie Pratt, Emily Lescak, Alycia Crall, and Lou Woodley

July 9, 2024

In this case study, we summarize how rOpenSci uses GitHub to organize their community calls. This is a very similar case study to the way The Carpentries uses GitHub to crowdsource and manage session proposals for their conference, CarpentryCon.

CSCCE Tech Case Study: Using GitHub to maintain a static website (CarpentryCon) or blog (Data Umbrella)

by Reshama Shaikh, Katie Pratt, Maneesha Sane, Emily Lescak, Alycia Crall, and Lou Woodley

July 9, 2024

In this case study, we summarize how two organizations, The Carpentries and Data Umbrella, make use of GitHub as a platform to host website materials on which their members can collaborate.

CSCCE Tech Case Study: Using GitHub teams to manage contributor access to Rosetta

by Julia Koehler Leman, Katie Pratt, Emily Lescak, Alycia Crall, and Lou Woodley

July 9, 2024

In this case study, we summarize how the Rosetta project uses GitHub teams to manage contributions to their open-source code base.

CSCCE Tech Case Study: Using Read the Docs to collaboratively create documentation in GitHub for Zarr

by Sanket Verma, Katie Pratt, Emily Lescak, Alycia Crall, and Lou Woodley

July 9, 2024

In this case study, we summarize how the Zarr community uses GitHub and Read the Docs to create documentation.

CSCCE Tech Case Study: Using bots in GitHub to support The Turing Way community

by Danny Garside, Anne Lee Steele, Katie Pratt, Emily Lescak, Alycia Crall, and Lou Woodley

July 9, 2024

In this case study, we summarize three ways that The Turing Way makes use of bots to automate actions in GitHub.

Please refer to the “Citation and Reuse” section of each resource for guidance on how to acknowledge it, or reach out to info@www.cscce.org with any questions. 

Related blog posts

Tools Trials

In 2023, we hosted a series of community Tools Trials that focused on online platforms and tools that can be used to support open source communities. After each trial, we wrote a recap of the session for the CSCCE blog, and shared recordings of individual presentations on YouTube. 

Blog posts

Presentation recordings

Watch each of the presentations in the series! 

rOpenSci’s community calls

Data Umbrella’s community blog

GitHub for organizing CarpentryCon

Using HedgeDoc at The Carpentries

The Turing Way – GitHub bots

Using Bitergia to track ENGAGEMENT

GitHub teams at Rosetta

Read the Docs and GitHub at Zarr

OPENREVIEW – A TECHNICAL OVERVIEW

OpenReview – A History

Openreview – its various applications