Improving Developer Participation Rates in Surveys – CHASE 2013

Doing high quality research about the human side of software engineering necessitates the participation of real software developers in studies, but getting high levels of participation is a challenge for software engineering researchers. In this paper, we discuss several factors that software engineering researchers can use when recruiting participants, drawn from a combination of general research on survey design, research on persuasion, and our experience in conducting surveys. We study these factors by performing post-hoc analysis on several previously conducted surveys. Our results provide insight into the factors associated with increased response rates, which are neither wholly composed of factors associated strictly with persuasion research, nor those of conventional wisdom in software engineering.

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