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How to start a new Papers We Love chapter

  1. First things first: Please read and abide by our Code of Conduct. This is very important.

  2. Have a chapter repository created within the Papers We Love organization: Open an issue on this repo requesting a chapter repo and telling us about yourself, who is helping you out, where we can find you online (twitter, etc) and where you're planning on starting the chapter. One of the Papers We Love administrators will get in touch with you and once everything is squared away will create the repo for your planned chapter. You will be added to a chapter-organizers team and given read / write access to the repo.

  3. Edit the Code of conduct template in your repo to include your contact information, and contact information for any other co-organizers of your chapter.

  4. Use the chapter repo for discussions, local content and communication outside of Slack. Think of it as a resource to help with continuity - if you hand the chapter over to someone else in the future, they don't have to start from scratch.

  5. Once you have had your first meetup create a pull request on the main Papers We Love repo adding you to the official chapters list in the file.

General tips on running a chapter:

  • If you're having trouble securing a space or are in need of funding for a PWL event, please seek out sponsorship, as it can go a long way toward a chapter's continuity and longevity.

  • Get help. Organizing a group can be exhausting, the more you are the easier it gets (plus you'll never be at a loss for speaker/paper ideas).

  • One way to get help is to join our #startingapwl Slack channel by signing-up!

  • Ask someone you're really excited about to talk. Michael Bernstein's blog was exactly the kind of thing we thought embodied the Papers We Love ethos, i.e. working/practicing programmers with an interest in keeping one toe in academia.

  • / Facebook - You'll need a way to advertise and manage your meetups. Traditionally Papers We Love has used for this purpose. It has an excellent RSVP system and a rich API which allows us to auto-generate the Upcoming meetups posts on That said, isn't the best solution for everyone. Facebook Public Groups are an alternative, which Singapore has used to great effect. In the future we plan on supporting Facebook's Graph API for harvesting meetup data, but for now Facebook Groups won't make it onto the Upcoming Meetups posts.

  • To keep the same look-and-feel for your meetup page, check out our assets.

  • Reference our Code of Conduct on your page (a template is provided in this repo, and will be copied to your chapter repo).

  • Get your group started and pull request a link to it in the repo's readme.

  • Once you have held your first meeting, create a pull request on the README adding your chapter, here's an example. You will need to hold regular meetings to stay listed.


Materials for starting a local Papers We Love chapter



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