Example inclusive contribution guidelines for open source projects
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Example inclusive contribution guidelines for open source projects


Recent history in some prominent open source projects demonstrates that there is an ongoing problem in creating inclusive open source communities where all members feel comfortable contributing their talents and efforts. Because open source work is often carried out on a volunteer basis, it is vital that potential contributors feel welcome and encouraged to do so. On a pragmatic level, this must be balanced with the high workload that project leaders and frequent contributors (sometimes called "core committers") face in maintaining open source projects. We believe a stronger, more valuable community and development process can be enabled by clear documentation and guidelines.

What this repository is

Many open source projects solicit and encourage contributions and seek to provide guidelines for doing so. GitHub even provides a mechanism for presenting these guidelines during the collaboration process in the form of CONTRIBUTING.md. Often times, however, these guidelines are strictly of a technical nature, as in coding standards, or a legal nature, as in CLAs (contributor license agreements).

Additionally, contributor guidelines should clarify the types of contributions that are considered valuable, the process by which such contributions are accepted, and the community standards surrouding the discussion of proposed contributions. In doing so, these guidelines should seek to be as inclusive as possible and seek to create a safe, positive environment which values all contributions which seek to improve the project.

How to start contributing

The main product of this repository is the example terms in the file CONTRIBUTING.md. This project uses those guidelines as the basis for its own development process. Please refer to that file.


Why, the contributors, of course! Would you consider being one? Please send a pull request :)