Linux Foundation debuts division to investigate impact open source

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The Linux Foundation has announced the Linux Foundation Research Division. The division will investigate the extent to which open source contributes to solving important problems in the world.

Areas that the division will specifically focus on are open source projects, ecosystem dynamics and their impact. This should lead to “never before seen” insights into the effectiveness of open source collaboration as a way of solving the world’s pressing problems.

Unprecedented knowledge network

In its research, Linux Foundation Research makes use of the vast amounts of available data, tools and communities in various industries and types of technologies that the Linux Foundation has at its disposal. The division will look at the data both qualitatively and quantitatively, with the aim of building an unprecedented knowledge network from which the global open source community, education, and industry in general, can benefit.

Informing how open source will evolve in the coming decades

“As we continue in our mission to collectively build the world’s most critical open infrastructure, we can provide a first-of-its-kind research program that leverages the Linux Foundation’s experience, brings our communities together, and can help inform how open source evolves for decades to come,” said Jim Zemlin, executive director at the Linux Foundation. “As we have seen in our previous studies on supply chain security and FOSS contribution, research is an important way to measure the progress of both open source ecosystems and contributor trends. With a dedicated research organization, the Linux Foundation will be better equipped to draw out insights, trends, and context that will inform discussions and decisions around open collaboration.”

Led by Hilary Carter

Hilary Carter, VP of Research, will be in charge of the initiative. Carter has experience developing and publishing more than 100 research projects at the Blockchain Research Insitute. She has also contributed to several reports on blockchain in pandemics, governments, enterprises, sustainability and supply chains.

“The opportunity to measure, analyze, and describe the impact of open source collaborations in a more fulsome way through Linux Foundation Research is inspiring,” says Carter. “Whether we’re exploring the security of digital supply chains or new initiatives to better report on climate risk, the goal of LF Research is to enhance decision-making and encourage collaboration in a vast array of open source projects. It’s not enough to simply describe what’s taking place. It’s about getting to the heart of why open source community initiatives matter to all facets of our society, as a means to get more people — and more organizations — actively involved.”

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