Gender, Representativeness and Reputation in StackOverflow

Terry Reedy tjreedy at
Mon Jul 23 23:44:27 CEST 2012

On 7/23/2012 8:51 AM, Alexander Serebrenik wrote:
> Do you participate in StackOverflow discussions?
> As a part of a joint on-going research effort of the Brunel
> University (UK) and Eindhoven University of Technology (The
> Netherlands)  on the impact of collaboration sites on the developers
> community, we would like to understand the demographics of
> StackOverflow participants and their activity. Specifically we are
> focusing on how genders, minorities and cultural background are
> represented in the population of users and participants of
> StackOverflow.

StackOverflow is open to anyone in the world who can write and read 
English. Aside from political interference and language problems, the 
other factors should be mostly irrelevant.

> Therefore, we have prepared a small questionnaire:

The scientific value of self-selected respondents is pretty low.

>  In our previous research we have proposed an h-index for open source
> developers
> (,

This is a deceptive and time-wasting link. It only says ...

Abstract The public data available in Open Source Software (OSS) 
repositories has been used for many practical reasons: detecting 
community structures; identifying key roles among developers; 
understanding software quality; predicting the arousal of bugs in large ...

which is not even the first sentence of the abstract. I still have no 
idea what 'h' means.

The actual link is

and the cost to read is $31 as part of a large conference proceedings 
book. (Apparently, members can read the 4 pages for free.)

Leaving aside the point that this is not directly related to Python, my 
opinion is that if the authors will not make past and future papers 
freely available, not even an abstract, they should not ask for valuable 
free data from freely donated time.

Terry Jan Reedy

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