Among other funding activities, Google's Open Source Program Office is sponsoring Martin Michlmayr's PhD research on "Quality Improvement in Volunteer Free Software Projects: Exploring the Impact of Release Management."

While Martin won't be publishing his findings until he completes his thesis in 2007, Bruce Byfield with NewsForge has just published an article which provides an overview of Martin's research and into quality assurance, release management and usability in free software projects.