Open source software success: Measures and analysis Academic Article uri icon


  • Despite a growing body of research on OSS production, much remains to be learned. One important issue concerns the measures of OSS project success and its determinants. In this paper, we empirically study the determinants of OSS success as measured by the number of subscribers and developers working on an OSS project. Furthermore, we demonstrate that our model forecasts these success measures more accurately as compared to a naive model. We find that OSS projects that develop software to work on Windows/UNIX/Linux operating systems, and developed using C or its derivative languages experience larger increase in subscribers and attract more developers than projects that do not have these characteristics. OSS projects with semi-restrictive licenses have fewer subscribers and attract fewer developers. Interestingly, OSS projects that accept financial donations and are targeted at IS/IT professionals have more subscribers than others, although these characteristics do not affect the developer base. The number of subscribers and developers increases with the age of the OSS project. Finally, the impact of developers on subscribers and subscribers on developers is positive and significant. 2011 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

published proceedings

  • Decision Support Systems

altmetric score

  • 3

author list (cited authors)

  • Sen, R., Singh, S. S., & Borle, S.

citation count

  • 45

complete list of authors

  • Sen, Ravi||Singh, Siddhartha S||Borle, Sharad

publication date

  • January 2012