🤩 crediting open source authors

You just found an awesome repository, and it works almost exactly how you want. You clone it, tweak it until it's juuust right for you, then begin pushing that code up to your very own repository.

But hold up, take a second to think about why you would need a copy of that repository, rather than improving it in place. You see, the second you duplicate a repository, a lot of things come into play.

First, it can add to the already existing heap of JavaScript packages out there, 1,317,350 at the time of publishing this article. And second, you may have just inadvertently plagiarized that content if you don't properly credit the author.

So here are a few tips about how to properly improve open source projects and acknowledge the original developer.

🍴 fork the repository

Forking is essentially the same thing as copying the repository, but GitHub keeps a link to the original, usually referred to as the upstream. Not only does it serve as a nice reminder of where the project originated from, but you can also pull in changes from the upstream repository into your fork at any time.

🚥 create a pull request

If you choose to modify the repository in a way that can benefit other users, consider opening a pull request. If approved and merged, you can now call yourself an official open sourcerer!

open sourcerer

ğŸŽ‰ acknowledge the original author

One of the easiest and most effective things you can do acknowledge the original author is to include an acknowledgements section in the README. This section can mention the original author, another project that inspired you, or an article that you found helpful. It's considered best practice to mention the author by name and include a link to their Twitter, GitHub, or website.

Whether you just have a few cents lying around, or if you work at a company with a large budget, you can donate to open source projects that you depend on. GitHub now offers sponsorship, which makes it easy to support the open source developers that support you!

💗 show some love

If nothing else, show some love to the developers who are out there writing code for others to use for free. Follow them on GitHub, or star any repositories you find interesting. This will help bring more attention, contributors, and sponsors, to the projects you love.