Beyond the repo: best practices for open source ecosystems researchers

Julia Ferraioli
Juniper Lovato
ACM Queue, 21(2023), pp. 14-34


Industry + scientific researchers using data collected from open source ecosystems need better guidelines and best practices to responsibly work with communities. When researchers fail to consider the human element of open source, it harms open source ecosystems, such as: - increasing work and emotional stress on volunteer groups - impacting costly infrastructure systems not designed to support research use cases - treating critical open source systems as test beds for scholarly research into known problems without consent of the community or contributing back to correct these problems This article presents best practices and guidelines for researchers working in open source to have a greater impact while respecting the production and sociotechnical environment they are observing.