What is it about?

We performed an exploratory analysis on this new feature, GitHub Discussions, that is still under development. This study analyzed the beta version that was being tried out on a limited number of projects. The research questions were as follows: RQ1) How have GitHub Discussions been adopted and used, RQ2) What reasons do developers have to adopt GitHub Discussions, and RQ3) How do GitHub Discussions relate and compare to other communication channels.

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Why is it important?

We found that GitHub Discussions are useful not only for software development, but also for managing discussions within a project. However, it is not easy to manage a forum well. Our recommendations are to set guidelines for participating in discussions, to encourage core members of the project to participate in discussions, and to prepare for newcomers.


An international team consisting of researchers with different specialties worked together for this research. We hope to reach out to existing GitHub users and potential users who may use GitHub for collaboration in the future so they could benefit from the research findings.

Hideaki Hata
Shinshu University

Read the Original

This page is a summary of: GitHub Discussions: An exploratory study of early adoption, Empirical Software Engineering, October 2021, Springer Science + Business Media,
DOI: 10.1007/s10664-021-10058-6.
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