An alternative implementation in R of the original all-contributors to acknowledge all contributors in your ‘README’ (or elsewhere). The original is intended to help acknowledge all contributions including those beyond the contents of an actual repository, such as community or other or less-tangible organisational contributions. This version only acknowledges tangible contributions to a repository, but automates that task to a single function call, in the hope that such simplicity will spur greater usage. In short: This package can’t do everything the original does, but it makes what it does much easier.

Why then?

The original all-contributors is primarily a bot which responds to commit messages such as add @user for <contribution>, where <contribution> is one of the recognized types. As said above, the relative advantage of that original system lies primarily in the diversity of contribution types able to be acknowledged, with each type for a given user appearing as a corresponding emoji below their github avatar as listed on the README. In comparison, this R package:

  1. Works automatically, by calling add_contributors() at any time to add or update contributor acknowledgements.
  2. Works locally without any bot integration
  3. Can add contributors to any file, not just the main README
  4. Offers a variety of formats for listing contributors:
    1. divided into sections by types of contributions, or as a single section
    2. presented as full grids (like the original), numbered lists of github user names only, or single text strings of comma-separated names.


Not yet on CRAN, so must be installed from remote repository host systems using any one of the following options:

# install.packages("remotes")

The package can then be loaded the usual way:


The primary function of the package, add_contributors(), adds a table of all contributors by default to the main file (and README.Rmd if that exists). Tables or lists can be added to other files by specifying the files argument of that function. The appearance of the contributors table is determined by several parameters in that function, including:

  1. type For the type of contributions to include (code, contributors who open issues, contributors who discuss issues).
  2. num_sections For whether to present contributors in 1, 2, or 3 distinct sections, dependent upon which types of contributions are to be acknowledged.
  3. format Determining whether contributors are presented in a grid with associated avatars of each contributor, as in the original, an enumerated list of github user names only, or a single text string of comma-separated names.

Contribution data are obtained by querying the github API, for which a local key should be set as an environmental variable containing the name "GITHUB" (either via Sys.setenv(), or as an equivalent entry in a file ~/.Renviron).

If the main README file(s) contains a markdown section entitled "Contributors", the add_contributors() function will add a table of contributors there, otherwise it will be appended to the end of the document(s). If you wish your contributors table to be somewhere other than at the end of the README file(s), start by adding an empty "## Contributors section to the file(s) and the function will insert the table at that point.

Any time you wish to update your contributor list, simply re-run the add_contributors() function. There’s even an open_issue parameter that will automatically open or update a github issue on your repository so that contributors will be pinged about them being added to your list of contributors.

The data used to construct the contributions table can also be extracted without writing to the README file(s) with the function get_contributors():

get_contributors(org = "ropenscilabs", repo = "allcontributors")
#> ★  Extracting code contributors
#> ✔ Extracted code contributors
#> ★  Extracting github issue contributors
#> ✔ Extracted github issue contributors
#>   logins contributions
#> 1 mpadge           113
#> 2 maelle            NA
#>                                                                                            avatar
#> 1                                  
#> 2
#>            type
#> 1          code
#> 2 issue_authors

Updating Contributor Acknowledgements

“Contributors” sections of files will be automatically updated to reflect any new contributions by simply calling add_contributors(). If your contributors have not changed then your lists of acknowledgements will not be changed. The add_contributors() function has an additional parameter which may be set to force_update = TRUE to force lists to be updated regardless of whether contributions have changed. This can be used to change the formats of acknowledgements at any time. If anything goes wrong, the easiest way to replace a contributions section is to simply delete the old ones from all files, and call add_contributors() again.

More Information

The package has a single vignette which visually demonstrates the various formats in which an “allcontributors” section can be presented.


All contributions to this project are gratefully acknowledged using the allcontributors package following the all-contributors specification. Contributions of any kind are welcome!