igraph, an important open source network analysis library, will receive two grants of $400,000 (approximately €340,000) over the course of the next two years.
The grants are awarded by the Chan Zuckerberg Initiative in the context of their programme on Essential Open Source Software for Science. They will be used to further develop and maintain igraph and to diversify the pool of contributors and maintainers of the project.
Easier to use and maintain
Vincent Traag, senior researcher at CWTS, coordinates the grant that will help igraph become easier to use. The grant will support the igraph development team in improving the most-used interfaces, which are Python, R, and Mathematica. Additionally, the developers aim to make the library and the interfaces easier to maintain, focusing on long-term sustainability. This ensures that igraph continues to be a useful tool for network scientists from various disciplines across the globe.
Enlarging and diversifying the community
Having people committed to maintain and further develop igraph is critical for its long-term viability. Steps towards building a more inclusive and engaged community have already been taken in the shape of a forum dedicated specifically to igraph.
With the help of the second grant from the Chan Zuckerberg Initiative, which is jointly coordinated with Women in Network Science and will be led by Brooke Foucault Welles, the project aims to enlarge and diversify the team of contributors and maintainers of igraph. The team intends to make it easier to start using and contributing to igraph, not only by improving documentation and tutorials, but also by actively organizing workshops for users and contributors and engaging more actively on the community forum. This community-building will focus specifically on women and non-binary people. Additionally, the grant will help set up a mentorship programme specifically to facilitate women and non-binary people to use and contribute to igraph, paving the way for them to become maintainers of the library.