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This Code of Conduct covers the expectations of your behavior as a member of the OpenMRS Community in any forum, mailing list, wiki, web site, IRC channel, install-fest, public meeting or private correspondence, as well as clearly defines potential consequences to violations of conduct.  The OpenMRS Community Management Team will arbitrate in any dispute over the conduct of a community member.

Be considerate. Your work will be used by other people, and you in-turn will depend on the work of others. Any decision you take will affect users and colleagues, and we expect you to take those consequences into account when making decisions. For example, when we are in a feature freeze, please don't upload dramatically new versions of critical system software, as other people will be testing the frozen system and not be expecting big changes.

Be respectful. The OpenMRS community and its members treat one another with respect. Everyone can make a valuable contribution to OpenMRS. We may not always agree, but disagreement is no excuse for poor behavior and poor manners. We might all experience some frustration now and then, but we cannot allow that frustration to turn into a personal attack. It's important to remember that a community where people feel uncomfortable or threatened is not a productive one. We expect members of the OpenMRS community to be respectful when dealing with other contributors as well as with people outside the OpenMRS project, and with users of OpenMRS.

Be collaborative. OpenMRS and Free Software are about collaboration and working together. Collaboration reduces redundancy of work done in the Free Software world, and improves the quality of the software produced. You should aim to collaborate with other OpenMRS maintainers, as well as with the upstream community that is interested in the work you do. Your work should be done transparently and patches from OpenMRS should be given back to the community when they are made, not just when the distribution releases. If you wish to work on new code for existing upstream projects, at least keep those projects informed of your ideas and progress. It may not be possible to get consensus from upstream or even from your colleagues about the correct implementation of an idea, so don't feel obliged to have that agreement before you begin, but at least keep the outside world informed of your work, and publish your work in a way that allows outsiders to test, discuss and contribute to your efforts.

When you disagree, consult others. Disagreements, both political and technical, happen all the time and the OpenMRS community is no exception. The important goal is not to avoid disagreements or differing views but to resolve them constructively. You should turn to the community and to the community process to seek advice and to resolve disagreements. We have the OpenMRS Leadership Team which will decide the right course for OpenMRS. There are also several Project Teams and Team Leaders, who may be able to help you figure out which direction will be most acceptable. If you really want to go a different way, then we encourage you to make a module available using the OpenMRS Module Repository, so that the community can try out your changes and ideas for itself and contribute to the discussion.

When you are unsure, ask for help. Nobody knows everything, and nobody is expected to be perfect in the OpenMRS community (except Burke of course). Asking questions avoids many problems down the road, so questions are encouraged. Those who are asked should be responsive and helpful. However, when asking a question, care must be taken to do so in an appropriate forum. Off-topic questions such as requests for help on a development mailing list detract from productive discussion.

Step down considerately. Developers on every project come and go and OpenMRS is no different. When you leave or disengage from the project, in whole or in part, we ask that you do so in a way that minimizes disruption to the project. This means you should tell people you are leaving and take the proper steps to ensure that others can pick up where you leave off. 

Maintain a healthy community space for all. OpenMRS prides itself on being a friendly and collaborative community. This comes largely from our ability to hold ourselves, and each other,  accountable for our behavior with each other. Part of that approach to accountability includes escalating awareness of circumstances that make members of our community feel unequal, uncomfortable, or unsafe. In situations where you witness behaviors in the community that betray our code of conduct, we encourage you to communicate your concerns directly with that individual or group. In circumstances where you are either uncomfortable approaching them, or feel as if your intervention has been unsuccessful, please don’t hesitate to approach the OpenMRS community management team.

Consequences of inappropriate behavior. We are committed to upholding the code of conduct, and, as such, we will enforce disciplinary actions for people who continually disregard these principles. If a community member is seen to violate the OpenMRS Code of Conduct, their behavior will be referred to the OpenMRS community management team which will take appropriate and open action befitting the severity of the violation.

Violations and penalties. The OpenMRS community management team will consider and decide upon an appropriate penalty based on the severity of the violation. In all instances, both the reporter and violator will be notified of the event, and what action will be taken. Such actions could include one or more of the following:

  • An official warning message on the violation
  • Temporary or permanent suspension of OpenMRS accounts
  • Removal of privileges from, or adding restrictions to OpenMRS accounts
  • Removal of content/contributions
  • Removal from the OpenMRS community 


The OpenMRS Code of Conduct is based on the Ubuntu Code of Conduct licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 3.0 license. OpenMRS gives thanks and credit to the Ubuntu Project for their work!


For our Github Code of Conduct, click here!

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