Working on a research on Diversity and Open Source Community, may need your generous help!

Hi there,

I am new here and it is great to meet you guys. I am a student at the University of Zurich and currently working on a project named “Diversity and its Impact on Open Source Community”. I am wondering how you will respond to such research? Any comments/reviews/advice are welcome!

Here are the manuscripts, not done yet.


Hi @xzyao, this is really interesting work! Thanks for sharing it here. :raised_hands:

I looked through this and I was interested in how variety diversity is defined as developers, administrators, and active users. I don’t have access to the 2012 paper from Daniel, Agarwal, and Stewart, but I am skeptical that this definition captures the full picture. In a healthy open source community, there are many types of roles: from code developers and graphic designers, to UI/UX designers and technical writers, and the project managers / issue triagers. So my concern with this definition is that it does not accurately capture the full picture of the type of work that happens in an open source community.

Because of the feminization of specific types of labor in computing, this research would be more useful for me to also understand how gender is factored into the types of work done in open source communities.

Recently I found an article via Twitter making a case for a Chief Experience Officer in organizations. Taking an intersectional look at the history of gender in computing and the valuable non-engineering aspects of open source communities, is there a correlation to what participation in modern open source projects looks like? I would really like to know the answer to this question!

As far as getting more formal academic feedback or eyes on your article, perhaps @GeorgLink might know of some resources to point you towards?

I hope this feedback is useful. I hope to hear more about your work. :smile:

Hmm! a tricky question!

Also i notice in your research you say …‘and its Impact on Code
Quality and Productivity’
as Justin says above the diversity of different roles within an open source project and then the gender, ethnicity, race, impairment/disability, socio economic background, age etc. all then play into potentially how ‘diverse’ or ‘inclusive’ an OSS-tech project and/or product is.

I wonder if you have hypothesised examples like: "X OSS software project was only able to include accessibility for people using a single button interface and/or an eyegaze camera interface when a member of the community had 1st hand or second hand experience with this’

These question become a little harder with gender and ethnicity so perhaps ‘X OSS software was only able to consider the barriers to repo cloning outside of english speaking and privileged communities when a community member had experience of this themselves’

The general tech research suggested that the more ‘diversity’ of voices in the initial product conception stages (and then throughout) allows for more inclusive stuff. But if you’re looking specifically on the ‘quality’ of contributions you’re in for a hard time because then you have to measure one persons contribution over another and consider diversity factors as measurements!

All the best with this, sounds like a deep and fascinating research piece!

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I’m very interested in working on this topic - this is my first post in this forum so figuring things out but lets connect. @MikeCoscina

Thanks for your kind replies! @jwf @eriolfox @coseenuh. They are really really helpful for us and I would love to share about the progress when we have more data and results!

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We will look deeper to the links that you’ve given! Thanks for your information and it is indeed something that we missed, we only take code developers into our consideration :frowning:

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Thanks for your kind reply! Unfortunately we do not have such a hypothesis. We basically collected as many repositories as possible, analyse their diversity measurements and quality and try to find the correlation. We tried to look on the quality of contributions (by measuring the static code quality before and after a specific commit), but it caused too much complexity to the project.

The idea of such an hypothesis seems great and we should consider this in some deeper analysis. Thanks for your feed back!

The link (with an updated final version) has been moved to:

You might want to take a look at the “Diversity and Inclusion” metrics at

See also posts by @GeorgLink