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Old 07-05-2011, 03:15 PM
Máirín Duffy
Default Help a research study on the gender gap in open source

(I apologize in advance if this isn't the appropriate list for this; let
me know which one is if this isn't it.)

Below is a letter from Sarah Riggs @ UNC Chapel Hill; she's conducting a
study as a follow-up to the FLOSSPOLS study that sadly showed a large
gender gap in participation from women in open source communities.

She's looking to talk to men as well as women. Please contact her
directly if you're interested (and thanks!)



From: Sarah Riggs <diceratops@gmail.com>

My name is Sarah Riggs and I am a Master's Degree seeking candidate at
the School of Information and Library Science at UNC Chapel Hill. I am
conducting research which addresses the large gender gap in the open
source community.

In 2006, a team of researchers sought to capture an image of women
contributors to open source software, as it was clear that women made up
a very small minority of participants (Nafus, Leach, & Kriegar, 2006).
Several proactive members of your community then implemented programs
aimed at increasing the number of women in open source; however, little
research has been done since this study.

By conducting qualitative interviews, my intention is to collect
narratives about the experiences of open source participants. I will ask
questions about your experiences joining and participating in the open
source community. Your answers will be used to to identify ways in which
more women can feel comfortable joining the community and contributing
to open source software development.

I would like to hear thoughts from women as well as men who are open
source contributors. Please consider participating whether you are just
starting out, or have been contributing to open source for many years.
it is important for this research to obtain a diverse group of
respondents with varied backgrounds so this research constructs a
representative narrative of experience.

I will be conducting interviews through July 30th, 2011, and I will be
happy to meet you at a time and date at your convenience. Those
volunteers who are selected will be allowed to decide the method of
participation, and phone calls, face-to-face interaction, or Internet
Relay Chat are valid means of communication.

Exhaustive efforts will be made to ensure that any information you give
me is confidential, and you are always free to stop the interview at any

Please don't hesitate to contact me if you have any further questions. I
can be best reached by e-mail, smriggs@email.unc.edu

Thank you for your time,

Sarah Riggs
Principal Investigator
University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, School of Information and
Library Science


Nafus, D., Leach, J. & Kriegar, B. (2006). Gender: Integrated Report of
Findings(Deliverable – 16).Retrieved from Free/Libre/Open Source
Software: Policy

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