A taxonomy for measuring the success of open source software projects


  • Amir Hossein Ghapanchi
  • Aybuke Aurum
  • Graham Low




Open source software, project success, User interest, Project activity, project performance.


Open Source Software (OSS) has been widely adopted by organizations as well as individual users and has changed the way software is developed, deployed and perceived. Research into OSS success is critical since it provides project leaders with insights into how to manage an OSS project in order to succeed. However, there is no universally agreed definition of “success” and researchers employ different dimensions (e.g., project activity and project performance) to refer to OSS success. By conducting a rigorous literature survey, this paper seeks to take a holistic view to explore various areas of OSS success that have been studied in prior research. Finally it provides a measurement taxonomy including six success areas for OSS projects. Implications for theory and practice are presented.

Author Biographies

Amir Hossein Ghapanchi

Amir Hossein Ghapanchi is a PhD candidate in the School of Information Systems, the University of New South Wales, Australia. He has published in several prestigious information systems journals such as Journal of Systems and Software and International Journal of Information Management.

Aybuke Aurum

Aybuke has over 80 publications including three edited books, namely Managing Software Engineering Knowledge, Engineering and Managing Software Requirements and Value-Based Software Engineering. She is on the editorial boards of Requirements Engineering Journal and Information and Software Technology Journal.

Graham Low

Graham Low is a Professor in information systems. He has several publications in high prestigious IS journals such as IEEE Transactions on Software Engineering, MIS quarterly, journal of information technology, Software Engineering Journal, Business Management Process Journal, Australian Journal of Information Systems, and Journal of Computer Systems Science and Engineering.




How to Cite

Ghapanchi, A. H., Aurum, A., & Low, G. (2011). A taxonomy for measuring the success of open source software projects. First Monday, 16(8). https://doi.org/10.5210/fm.v16i8.3558