rOpenSci | Set Up Your Package to Foster a Community · Community Call
April 22, 2021

Set Up Your Package to Foster a Community

rOpenSci puts ongoing effort into exploring and communicating how developers can best attract attention to their package (e.g. usage, citations, or feedback), or how to set up their repository to encourage the types of contributions they want. In this 1-hour community call, Maëlle Salmon, Hugo Gruson, and Steffi LaZerte will share tips and examples on how to do this!

  • What is the community of a package or project?
  • Include a Code of Conduct
  • What goes in your package contributing guide? Etiquette and setup
  • Use your README to share your expectations with users and potential contributors
  • Use issue templates
  • Use issue labels to explicitly invite contributions (code or non-code) and user feedback
  • Include a roadmap so potential contributors know where your package is going, what you plan to implement, and what you won’t
  • What characteristics of a package or project make contributors keep coming back?

Come hear our best recommendations, and share your favorites. Stefanie Butland will moderate to get answers to your questions and we’ll have a collaborative notes doc to harness everyone’s collective wisdom.

Index of video:

  • 0:00 Stefanie Butland, Welcome and introductions
  • 4:55 Maëlle Salmon, Set Up Your Package to Foster a Community
  • 20:00 Hugo Gruson, My Journey from Package User to Package Developer… and how to invite more users to take this journey
  • 32:28 Steffi LaZerte, Labelling Issues and the Labelathon
  • 43:58 Q & A

Do you think these are great ideas, but it’s hard to set aside time to put them into practice?

We’re following up this Community Call with an experiment!

Join us for 1.5 hours Thursday, April 29, 9 AM Pacific / 16:00 UTC for our first co-working social “Label-athon”.

  • Meet other package developers and rOpenSci staff in Zoom
  • Work independently, implementing some of our recommendations for your own package
  • Get answers to your questions

At the end of each session we’ll tweet links to your “help wanted” issues to help you get attention to your project.

Our experiment includes 4 label-athons (if y’all show up, we can do more) at alternating times to accommodate our community around the world. Thursdays April 29, May 13, May 27, June 10.

Note: This community call will not include tips specific to maintaining a package. See the recording, summary post, and collaborative notes from our past Community Call on Maintaining an R Package.


Portrait of Maëlle Salmon
Maëlle Salmon

Maëlle Salmon is a R(esearch) Software Engineer, part-time with rOpenSci where she, among other things, maintains the guide rOpenSci Packages: Development, Maintenance, and Peer Review. She also created the R-hub blog and co-wrote the book HTTP testing in R with Scott Chamberlain. She lives in Nancy, France. Maëlle on GitHub, Twitter, Website, rOpenSci.

Portrait of Hugo Gruson
Hugo Gruson

Hugo Gruson is an evolutionary biologist who fell in love with R and R package development during his PhD. After this, he moved to a Research Software Engineer job in Montpellier, France, to work full time on building tools for research in epidemiology. Hugo on GitHub, Twitter, Website, rOpenSci.

Portrait of Steffi LaZerte
Steffi LaZerte

Steffi LaZerte is a consulting R programmer and teacher in Brandon, Canada, and part-time Community Assistant for rOpenSci. She co-authored the rOpenSci Community Contributing Guide with Stefanie Butland. Though her background is in Behavioral Ecology, her love of R drew her away from academia and into a career facilitating science with R. Steffi on GitHub, Twitter, Website, rOpenSci.

Portrait of Stefanie Butland
Stefanie Butland

Stefanie Butland is rOpenSci’s Community Manager, living in Kamloops, Canada. She created the rOpenSci Community Contributing Guide, co-authored with Steffi LaZerte, that helps people match their motivations and skills to different ways to make code and non-code contributions. Stefanie on GitHub, Twitter, Website, rOpenSci.