FAIR Data & Software Blog: 5 tips to improve your GitHub profile

Are you wondering how you can increase the reuse of your projects? To achieve this, the goal is not to increase the quality of research. Rather, it might be that people simply can’t find your research code and software. Having great findability of your work is important to increase chances of your research being noticed and thus making an impact. Many researchers produce code or software for research. Sometimes minor, just to do a statistical analysis, but also very advanced research software with great reuse potential. 

In order to maximize the impact of your code and software, it is important to make software Open Source and findable. Findability starts by having your profile visible and findable. This blog helps you to achieve this by giving you 5 practical tips. This will not only lead to your code being reused by others, you will also increase your public engagement. After all, your (GitHub) profile is part of your CV. And if you haven’t checked out the UU visibility to-do list, take a look at this as well!

1. Join GitHub and connect with GitHub @UtrechtUniversity

Did you know that there’s an Utrecht University organization on GitHub? As an employee, you can connect to it very easily. This allows you to show that you are working for Utrecht University and also to create repositories in the name of the university.

2. Create a GitHub profile README

By creating a profile README, you can share lots of information about your projects that you would like to share. Follow these steps in order to create a profile. 

3. Cross-reference your profiles

Do you have a LinkedIn account? How about Google Scholar, Researchgate or a personal Webpage? Link to your other profiles from your GitHub profile and vice-versa in order to provide easy access to your research. Other profiles you should maintain are your UU page and ORCID.

You can find a profile that has a nice readme, as well as cross-references here.

4. Pin your important repositories

If you are frequently working on new repositories, your most important ones might get lost from the standard overview. Pin your top repositories so that your profile visitors can easily find your most important work. Look here for instructions.

5. Keep your profile up to date

Be sure to frequently check your profile and see if your information is still up to date. Has your position recently changed? Do you have new projects that you want to highlight?


The goal of the research project regarding the Scan of Open Research Software at Utrecht University (SWORDS@UU), one of the projects in FAIR Data, is to analyze the FAIRness of GitHub repositories of Utrecht University researchers. This blog was written based on the insights and outcomes of this research. This blog post is a part of series of blogs based on the SWORDS project and aims towards supporting UU employees and students with open science practices. The next blog post will be about programming languages.