This is funding to support travel for a diverse group of US PhD students and faculty mentors to participate in an international doctoral consortium on research on Free and Open Source Software that will be co-located with the 7th International Conference on Open Source Systems (OSS 2011), October 5-8, 2011 in Salvador, BA, Brazil. The last decade has witnessed a tremendous growth in the interest and diffusion of Free/libre and Open Source Software (FLOSS) technologies, and has changed the way organizations and individuals create, acquire, and distribute software and software-based services. The OSS conference is a leading international forum where a diverse community of academics, industry professionals and FLOSS practitioners can come together to share research findings and experiences.

The OSS 2011 Doctoral Consortium will provide a group of approximately 13-15 PhD students studying FLOSS with an environment in which they can share and discuss their goals, methods and results at an early stage of their research. It will take place on October 4, the day before the OSS conference begins. By participating in the doctoral consortium, students will gain feedback on their work from other students and faculty members, allowing them to enhance their own research proposal. Students will also develop a better understanding of the different research communities engaged in the study of open source software. In addition, the consortium will provide students with opportunities to make new professional connections beyond their own disciplines. Because the consortium will be held in Brazil this year, it will also provide opportunities to develop new international connections.

Students will be recruited for the doctoral consortium through advertisement on the conference website, postings to relevant mailing lists and direct solicitation to faculty working on FLOSS related research. Particular attention will be placed on identifying participants from under-represented groups. To apply for the consortium, students will submit a paper outlining their research goals and work to date. Applications will be screened by the consortium chairs for fit to the topic area, state of development and quality of the research project.

Broader impacts: The OSS doctoral consortia traditionally bring together the best of the next generation of researchers in open source software research, allowing them to create a social network both among themselves and with senior researchers at a critical stage in their professional development. Applications are encouraged from all doctoral students whose research is OSS-related, regardless of the fields in which they are earning their degrees. Participation is encouraged from a broad range of relevant disciplines and approaches, including (but not limited to) computer science, sociology, psychology, anthropology, information science, cognitive science, communication, and economics. While NSF funds will be used chiefly to support participation by students enrolled in graduate programs in the United States, some international participants may be supported as well in recognition of the fact that the OSS field embraces educational and cultural traditions that vary in different parts of the world. The organizers will try explicitly to identify and include the broadest possible group of highly qualified participants. As a consequence of these steps, the student and faculty participants will constitute a diverse group across a variety of dimensions, which will help broaden the students' horizons to the future benefit of the field.

Project Report

This grant provided travel support for US-based doctoral students and several U.S. university faculty to attend the 2011 and 2012 Open Source Systems (OSS) doctoral consortia (DC). Funded faculty helped to organize and run these events. The first, OSS 2011 DC, was co-located with the 7th International Conference on Open Source Systems (OSS 2011), on October 5th, 2011 in Salvador, Brazil [1]. The second, OSS 2012 DC, was co-located with the 8th International Conference on Open Source Systems (OSS 2012), on September 13th, 2012 in Hammamet, Tunisia [2]. Attendance at these consortia also allowed the students to participate in the full conferences that followed immediately after each DC. These Doctoral Consortia are different than standard conferences in that they provide an opportunity for PhD students studying aspects of open source software and systems to present their dissertation research in a formal environment in front of peers and participating faculty in attendance. Some participants present papers that are in early stages of the research, others present work that are nearly completed. Either way, the objective is that through this experience, students receive feedback from their peers and other faculty on their work, in order to help them improve it before they defend. A second objective is to help connect these emerging scholars to peers in other institutions as well as to an international network of faculty who are conducting research open source software and systems. Over the two consortia 17 doctoral students participated. Feedback from the students on the learning experience that resulted was overwhelmingly positive. Proceedings of the OSS 2011 doctoral consortium are available at [3]. Proceedings of the OSS 2012 doctoral consortium are available at [4]. References [1] [2] [3] [4]

National Science Foundation (NSF)
Division of Information and Intelligent Systems (IIS)
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Kevin Crowston
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University of Massachusetts Amherst
United States
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