Open Source Software (OSS) communities are often international, bringing together people from diverse regions with different linguistic and cultural backgrounds. National user groups can bolster these international communities by convening local events, championing the software to peers, welcoming and onboarding new contributors, raising money to support the broader community, and collecting important information on user’s needs. The open source community-led software DSpace has had great success encouraging the creation of national user groups; in the UK, North America, and Germany, the Groups have been active for many years. However, it was in 2018, thanks to a renewed focus on international engagement and more diverse representation of the global community in governance groups, that the national communities entered into a new phase: 15 new national User Groups have been formed all over the world since then, while the German user group evolved into the “DSpace-Konsortium Deutschland”, founded by 25 institutions, marking a pivotal point for membership options and National User Group participation within DSpace Governance. This article will offer an overview of the historical development of the DSpace community and its governance model, as well as DuraSpace’s international engagement strategy, including its benefits and challenges. Subsequently, we will present a case study on the DSpace-Konsortium Deutschland and explain its relation to the broader context of how to build national user groups within global communities.
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