The following blogs and publications could provide some useful background. An issue that Smith (2018) highlights is that academic incentives and open source development practices may not necessarily align. More generally, there seems to be growing interest in empirical studies that examine software development, both open and closed source. Zagalsky et al (2018) look at the R community in this light.
Oram, Andy and Greg Wilson (October 2010). Making software: what really works, and why we believe it. Sebastopol, California, USA: O’Reilly Media. ISBN 978-0-596-80832-7.
Smith, Nathaniel J (25 May 2018). The unreasonable effectiveness of investment in open-source infrastructure. njs blog.
Zagalsky, Alexey, Daniel M German, Margaret-Anne Storey, Carlos Gómez Teshima, and Germán Poo-Caamaño (April 2018). “How the R community creates and curates knowledge: an extended study of stack overflow and mailing lists”. Journal of Empirical Software Engineering. 23 (2): 953–986. doi:10.1007/s10664-017-9536-y.