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Published November 22, 2022 | Version 0.0.1
Dataset Open

Open Source and Open Science Sustainability Year-long Study - Pseudonymised


  • 1. University of Manchester


Research software is often abandoned or shut down, for one reason or another. While some reasons may be straightforward, e.g. a sole maintainer has moved on, or grant funding has ceased - some projects are able to withstand these barriers and may remain active and maintained despite adversity.

This study monitors open source projects over the period of a year, measuring common performance indicators, to see if any indicators are common to projects that remain sustainable and active.

This study uses mixed methods:

  1. Initial survey gathers info about the project age, leadership, and GitHub (or other source control) URLs. Participants are asked to add a short notice to their readme.
  2. After the initial survey, we gathered information about the GitHub projects such as number of contributors, number of PRs, time taken to close/merge these PRs, and issues closed. Some of this info is gathered using scripts,  and other parts are gathered manually. An example of a manual metric is the Code of Conduct - while we can programmatically check for the existence of, we can’t easily check for enforcement contacts without manual checks.
  3. 6 months and 12 months after the initial survey, we send follow up surveys, and in month 12 we re-run the GitHub metrics to compare to month 0.


For more study info see:



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