How Scientists Use Computers: Survey Part 2

This post originally appeared on the Software Carpentry website.

Thank you once again for taking part in our Fall 2008 survey of how scientists use computers in their research. We will present a paper describing our findings at ICSE'09 in Vancouver on May 23, and will make the results public as soon after that as possible. There will also be an article in American Scientist magazine discussing what you've told us some time this summer.

Our next step is to figure out what makes some scientific computer users so much more productive than others. We would therefore be grateful if you would take a few minutes to answer the questions below and email the result to

  1. If you think that you use computers more effectively in your work than some of your peers:
    1. explain why you think so
    2. describe what you do or know that they don't
  2. If you can think of someone in your research area who uses computers more effectively in their work than you do:
    1. explain why you think so
    2. describe as best you can what they do or know that you don't

If you answered either question, we would be very grateful if you could pass this email on to the colleague or colleagues you were thinking of and ask them to answer it as well—we believe we will learn a great deal by comparing responses, as well as from the responses themselves. If they wish to remain anonymous, please ask them to return their response to you for forwarding to us. Otherwise, please have them reply directly to us. (It would be very helpful in the second case for them to mention your name, so that we can pair their response with yours.)

As with the original survey, only the researchers directly involved in this study will have access to respondents' contact information and/or identities. This information will not be shared with any third party in any way.

Thanks in advance for your help—we hope you'll find the results useful.

Prof. Greg Wilson

Dept. of Computer Science

University of Toronto

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