Research project on how FOSS project sustainability is affected by mismatched upstream/downstream conceptualizations
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Recruitment email text

Dear [NAME],

I’m writing to invite you to participate in a study we’re conducting on how Free and Open Source (FOSS) digital infrastructure projects are conceptualized by both upstream maintainers and downstream users. We are hoping to learn how to better support the community health and thus sustainability of such projects. We think you might potentially be a great participant because of your involvement in [PROJECT NAME], but regardless of whether or not we’ve discussed this study informally in the past, you do not have to participate in the study now or at all -- your participation is totally voluntary.

The time commitment involved would be participating in 3 interviews between January 1st, 2019 and December 31st, 2019. Each interview will take approximately an hour, and we’ll schedule the interviews at your convenience. Interviews can take place remotely over the phone or your preferred video call platform (Skype, Facetime, etc.).

During each interview, we will be asking you to respond to prompts regarding your participation in [PROJECT NAME]. Your interviews will be transcribed in real-time (which you’re welcome to read along with if you like), and we’ll go through the transcript together afterwards to anonymize, remove, or otherwise edit any sections you don’t want to share in public. One goal of our research project is to publish your stories, under your name, as an open-licensed collection on the web, and start building a library of interviews with FOSS project participants so that people can read and talk about so we can learn from your experiences.

You may withdraw from the study at any time. You can also choose to receive project updates between interviews, but this is purely optional.

If you are willing to participate, just reply to this email with the words “I am willing to participate” (or similar). If you are selected for the study, we will send you consent forms to read and discuss before deciding to enroll in the study.

If you are interested in participating but want to talk through this more before signing up, I’d be happy to talk; just let me know where, how, and when might be good (IRC, phone, etc.)

If you are not interested in this study, you do not have to respond – but I’d appreciate it if you could let me know so I can make a note not to ask you about it again.

Please let me know if you’ve got any questions or comments. Thanks for taking the time to read this and for your interest in our study - we hope you’ll be able to join us!

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