Together with a number of colleagues (UC Davis, Polytech'Nantes, Brunel U, Eindhoven U of Technology) we are working on a series of research studies related to Stack Overflow. While I do understand that this post would be technically off topic - it's about a study that could involve Stack Overflow users - not about Stack Overflow or the community itself, I wonder
to what extent would you be interested in entertaining academic studies?
under what circumstances would you be willing to participate in interviews, user surveys, lab experiments or any other activity related to academic research?
To sketch the context: in essence we would like to understand how developers who use Stack Overflow present themselves, communicate with each other, and how does this communication translate to technical solutions.
As part of these research effort we would like to hear your opinions: and to this extent we organize surveys. Participation in this surveys is voluntary and confidential, and no information is disclosed to third parties under any circumstances. Responses -unless explicitly stated otherwise- cannot be traced back to individual respondents. Moreover, the results of such surveys would be included in scientific publications, hence transparent, and no personal data is going to be published. Abridged version of the study results will be published on meta as well.
One of our current surveys recently advertised on Meta did not receive the warmest of welcomes. From among the critiques there were the appearance of spam, being off-topic, or not contacting the SE team first (one of the commenters suggested the "Ad Sales and Sponsorships" procedure). The post has been deleted in the meantime.
We had an email exchange with the SE team. Although they sympathise with researchers taking an interest in the SO/SE community, there is no official mechanism by which they can support or promote such academic requests (unless via ad space, which is not really accessible to us given the scientific nature of our study and our lack of commercial interest). The SE team also recommended us to make this kind of post polling the community opinion on the two questions above.