Project: AP Research Project

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I wrote this research paper for my yearlong AP Research research project. It is a study using a systematic review to determine the most important benefits of open-source software in the context of public education, and each of these factors’ relative importance.

This earned a 5 on the AP Research exam.

Abstract: Given that open-source software seems to be advantageous to many businesses, that there is relatively little literature on how advantageous it can be to schools, and that many schools have not yet adopted open-source software, this paper considers the advantages of open-source software and how they impact public schools using a qualitative systematic review. The systematic review was completed through a content analysis. The research followed an established coding process of 6 pieces of current academic literature sourced from various academic databases, surfacing n=198 instances of 6 codes. Through this, the researcher established six main benefits of open-source software that could appeal to public schools. Out of the benefits identified, the most important were the software’s inherent freedom, increased security and transparency, and reduced software expenses. It was found that these main benefits can easily appeal to the needs of public schools and increase their confidence in adopting open-source software. The researcher hopes that, in the future, more schools will adopt open-source software and more quantitative studies will appear to solidify confidence in OSS. It should be noted that this study is limited by the number of studies analyzed (due to time constraints) and the researcher’s expertise. This systematic review was not registered in a systematic review database.



Published May 20, 2020

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