Growing Open Source Communities Around Academic Projects


Markus Krötzsch

Out of the Lab, Into the Wild: Growing Open Source Communities Around Academic Projects

Abstract. Academic researchers develop large amounts of software, be it for validating a hypothesis, for illustrating a new approach, or merely as a tool to aid some study. In most cases, a small focused prototype does the job, and it is disposed quickly after the focus of research moves on. However, once in a while, a novel approach or upcoming technology bears the potential to really change the way in which a problem is solved. Doing so promises professional reputation, commercial success, and the personal gratification of realizing the full potential of a new idea. The researcher who made this discovery then is tempted to go beyond a prototype towards a product that is actually used – and is faced by a completely new set of practical problems.

Published at Open Advice (Book chapter)

Download PDF (last update: Feb 6 2012)

Citation details

  • Markus Krötzsch. Out of the Lab, Into the Wild: Growing Open Source Communities Around Academic Projects. In Lydia Pintscher, eds.: Open Advice, chapter 3, pp. 11–17. open-advice.orgProperty "Publisher" has a restricted application area and cannot be used as annotation property by a user. 2012.

About this Book

Open Advice is a collection of 42 short essays by prominent contributors of Free Software projects, each inspired by the question “What would I have wished to know when I started?” It covers a wide range of related topics, ranging from code development, project management, and mentoring to community building, business exploitation, and legal aspects. Staying true to its title, Open Advice is freely available under a Creative Commons license.

For more information and free download, see the book's web site. Paper copies are available from Lulu at a very reasonable price.


Software development