Open community: Friend or Foe?

Should JISC funded projects be generating communities around themselves?

How do JISC projects effectively engage with existing third party communities?

Are users or developers more important when building a community?

What does an open community look like and how does a JISC project use it to its best advantage?

How does community infrastructure make project management easier?

Is the community there for requirements gathering, feedback on final outputs, sustainability at the end of the project, or just for the tea and biscuits?

About the workshop

This OSS Watch led workshop aims to help JISC project participants understand community with respect to their project. It is an opportunity for you to:

- discover how community will help your project with respect to project management as well as potential sustainability

- team up with projects in similar areas to discuss community involvement and community development in your specific field

- inform OSS Watch how we may help your project gain maximum benefit from community activities


When and Where

Wednesday June 20th University of Oxford

About OSS Watch

OSS Watch promotes awareness and understanding of the legal, social, technical and economic issues that arise when educational institutions engage with free and open source software. It does this by providing unbiased advice and guidance to UK higher and further education. See


Roundup Email

The text below was sent to all participants who attended the workshop.

We'd like to thank you for attending the OSS Watch Communities workshop.

An issue that was raised several times by attendees was
practical, hands-on help getting the technical community
infrastructure set up (version control, mailing lists, etc). OSS
Watch are actively working on organising such an event, more
information will be forthcoming.

Another common request was for more focus on how projects can create
a culture of collaboration within their projects. This is something
that is best learnt through doing, rather than through studying. To
this end we will be creating a new mailing for the ongoing
discussion of community led development models.

This new list is intended to be a friendly environment in which your
project team can communicate with OSS Watch and other projects. It
will compliment the OSS Watch by providing a
place to share experiences and best practise. will remain the point of contact for more private issues relating to your project, such as specific licensing questions.

During the workshop we mentioned that you would be subscribed
automatically to this mailing list unless you explicitly asked not
to be. This is your last chance to opt out, as we will be creating
the list shortly. As per best practise, the welcome mail sent to all
new subscribers will contain full details on how to unsubscribe.

A number of participants requested copies of the slides used during
the presentation, and these are in the wiki as attachments at:

Several participants talked about the struggle to achieve
sustainability. OSS Watch has some content in our wiki about this
at: this is
closely related to the recently Sustainability study:

This will, no doubt, be a hot topic on the new list, we'd be very
keen to hear your thoughts on sustainability for your projects.

There were also requests for detailed information on the governance
models of specific open source projects. We have started compiling a
set of details about specific projects at:

Please note that our wiki materials are "in development", you are welcome to read them, add to them or highlight areas you feel need to be expanded by adding comments directly to the content. Alternatively, you could ask for further details on the mailing list.

The OSS Watch team 


ExamplesOfOpenSourceGovernanceModels was created to give attendees information on how different open source projects are governed.

community-development mailing list

Paul Walk blogged his experience.

Attached are the slides used at the event. The bulk of the content is in Ross's slides.

OSSWatchWiki: CommunityDevelopmentWorkshop (last edited 2013-04-15 13:56:24 by localhost)

Creative Commons License
The content of this wiki is licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 2.0 England & Wales Licence.

OSS Watch is funded by the Joint Information Systems Committee (JISC) and is situated within the Research Technologies Service (RTS) of the University of Oxford.