Incentives in Open Source Participation

A Survey

The Connected Devices Contributor Experience Research study by Mozilla sought to understand why contributors invest time and effort into open source projects. The study carried out in-depth interviews with active participants to examine their motivations to contribute as well as pain points in their journey.

Building on Connected Devices Contributor Experience Research, we are currently conducting research, supported by Mozilla, to understand what incentivizes people to reduce or stop contributing. Some questions that interest us are: What value is a contributor seeking from open source participation? How can this value be measured against the value derived from other activities? If there are individuals who are qualified to participate in open source but are not doing so, then what are they doing instead? Are alternative activities displacing open source by providing greater value? How can we improve participation and increase the value generated by the open source experience?

To uncover the incentives behind decreased participation, we have developed a survey:

The survey is anonymous and takes about 10–15 minutes to complete. Check it out! We would really appreciate your feedback. If you are interested to discuss more about our project, please email us at