Computing Profession

What Is Your Research Culture? Part 1: The Questionnaire

Bertrand Meyer

Discussions frequently take place on issues of publication and research in our field; they have occurred for example at the Dagstuhl workshop convened by Moshe Vardi on publications in CS and in numerous meetings of Informatics Europe. They have already led  to a few articles in this blog.

In talking to members of the academic community in various places, I have realized that we often ignore the tremendous culture gaps between countries. The kinds of things we debate between representatives of (say) ETH, Rice, Stanford, and Microsoft Research are a world away from the assumptions, the practice and more generally the research culture of our colleagues in many institutions around the world.

There are many kinds of research culture, but by an large we can talk of the "retro" and "modern" cultures. I will discuss them in a few articles following this one, but to begin I have devised a questionnaire to help you find out where you stand. The questionnaire is at

Please try it. I am not giving any explanations yet; you will have to wait a few days for the following articles in the series. Let me just say that the higher the score (positive values up to 47) the more "modern" your research culture, and the lower the score (negative values down to -77)  the more "retro" the culture.

Disclaimer (should not be necessary, but…): this is a questionnaire, not a survey. It is for your own benefit and we do not retain any data.

Acknowledgments: the idea for this questionnaire came up during a discussion with Carlo Ghezzi at the last European Computer Science Summit of Informatics Europe. I am grateful to Christian Estler for his help with the programming.

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