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Stewarding National User Groups to Strengthen International OSS Communities

Open Repositories 2019(SoSe 19)

Open Source Software (OSS) communities often are international ones, bringing together people from diverse regions with linguistic and cultural backgrounds. National user groups can bolster these international communities by convening local events, championing the software to peers, welcoming and onboarding new contributors, raising money to support the broader community, and collecting important information user needs of a geographic region.

The DSpace community, an international community of users and members, has had success encouraging the creation of national user groups. For example, groups in the UK, North America, and Germany have been active for many years. However, in 2018, a renewed focus on international engagement and more diverse representation on the community governance groups (Leadership and Steering) led to the creation of two new national DSpace user groups in Peru and Brazil and the evolution of the German user group into the “DSpace Konsortium Deutschland,” founded by 25 academic institutions.

This presentation will offer an overview of our international engagement strategy, it’s benefits and challenges, as well as a case study on the DSpace Konsortium Deutschland and how it relates to the broader context of how to build national user groups within international communities.

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