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Does the First-Response Matter for Future Contributions? A Study of First Contributions

Context: Open Source Software (OSS) projects rely on a continuous stream of new contributors for sustainable livelihood. Recent studies reported that new contributors experience many barriers in their first contribution. One of the critical barriers is the social barrier. Although a number of studies investigated the social barriers to new contributors, to the best of our knowledge, the relationship between the first response to the first contributions and their future contributions has not been studied comprehensively. Objective: In this registered report, we introduce the study protocols that investigate the correlation between the first response given to the first contributions and the future contribution. First, we performed a preliminary survey to manually explore the sentiments of the first response. Preliminary analysis confirms that the first responses are mainly neutral. Method: Our execution plan includes both qualitative and quantitative approaches with three research questions. We inspect the first response of the first contributions, investigate the effects of characteristics of the first response to the interaction between first-time-contributor and project contributors, and find the impact of the interactions between other contributors.


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