7th Biennial ACSPRI Social Science Methodology Conference

Challenges of adopting open source software for survey research in practice
2020-12-03, 10:30–10:45, Zoom Breakout Room 1

Research organisations embracing open source software can rarely escape comparisons to proprietary offerings and the need to integrate proprietary software into their workflows, whether due to internally driven requirements or external demands. Whilst there are many benefits to the adoption of open source tools in a survey research environment, these benefits come with their own unique challenges.

Often proprietary products will advertise integration with open source tools, which are pseudo-integrations that offer little utility. Likewise support for proprietary tools in open source frameworks can be haphazard and can meaningfully lag changes to proprietary software.

We began using R at the Social Research Centre in 2013, and over time it has become our primary data processing tool and supports much of our data analysis work. Alongside the move to R we have adopted many other open source tools with varying levels of success.

We discuss some of the unique practical challenges faced when adopting open source tools, including:
- integrating open source software with existing proprietary tools
- usability challenges
- user support
- tools with hybrid open/closed source offerings

Do NOT record this presentation – no