[kde-community] Individual Motivation to Contribute to FLOSS Without Direct Monetary Remuneration

Myriam Schweingruber myriam at kde.org
Mon Jun 8 13:02:24 UTC 2015


Hi Mahmoud,

On Mon, May 25, 2015 at 3:35 PM, Mahmoud Khodier
<m.khodier at fci-cu.edu.eg> wrote:
> Hello everyone,
> We are conducting a research on FLOSS at Technical University of Berlin, and
> under supervision of "Mirko Boehm". We are interested in finding out what
> initially motivated individuals to join, contribute to, and remain in FLOSS
> projects.
>
> We would appreciate your collaboration by filling out this survey (takes few
> minutes only):
>
> Online Survey for Open Source Contributors

Starting to fill this out, but...

.. a few questions, though: this is at least the fourth survey about
Free Software contributor motivation I personally have seen in the
last two years, and I just wonder:

* Why yet again the same survey under a different umbrella?
* Aren't those existing survey results published and shared and freely
available?**
* What exactly is the aim of this particular survey that has not
already been answered numerous times before?
* Wouldn't a meta-analysis of all the already existing surveys out
there be more profitable? Might be slightly more work as you would
have to dig out the results, but that is doable quite easily and might
also give an insight of the motivation evolution over time...

Understand me well, I do not want to denigrate the usefulness of any
of these surveys or of your work, but what, from the purely scientific
POV, can you gain from yet another survey with pretty much the same
questions as all those answered already by the same panel of people?
It is not like you will get much different answers than we already
gave before, and the people who answer those surveys are mostly the
same, so not really a broader perspective.

Please enlighten my unskilled mind (I have a natural science
background, so I know a thing or two about statistics, just not in
that field). All surveys I have seen so far were either for bachelor
or seminar works (undergraduate both), so what is there to gain in a
master study program from such a survey?

Regards, Myriam

** I very much hope so, as Free Software contribution is also about
openness and about "standing on the shoulder of giants", so re-using
already done work is a good idea, IMHO. As long as you indicate all
your sources and give credit where credit is due, there is much to
gain from the insight other people have gathered already, and it
avoids the reinvention of the wheel and a NIH attitude.
-- 
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