Github, forks, collaborators, watchers

Github, forks, collaborators, watchers

Name:  Github – forks, collaborators, watchers

Can apply to: Any project stored on a Github instance, primarily programming scripts.

Metric definition: Forks are created when a user makes a copy of a repository (i.e., a group of files). A collaborator is able to perform many actions on the files within the repository, including edits. Watchers include Github users who chosen to watch the activity for your repository, but have not become collaborators. Watching a repository is similar to bookmarking a page in a web browser or following an RSS feed to see changes.

Metric calculation: Forks, pulls, and commits are counted by the Git software running on the Github servers.

Data sources:

Appropriate use cases: Github forks can provide evidence of use or reuse of your repository. Github collaborators can offer evidence of your engagement with particular individuals or communities. Github watchers may indicate awareness of your repository or project.

Limitations: Simple counts of forks, collaborators, and watchers may over or under-estimate the use of the repository files. Additional context should be provided when presenting these as evidence of reuse or impact.

Inappropriate use cases: Github metrics should not be used to demonstrate quality or impact.

Available metric sources:, PlumX Dashboards

Transparency: All user actions are publicly visible.


Timeframe: Real-time updates. The Github site was launched in April 2008.


Posted on

July 24, 2017