OSS Watch conducted a study of UK Further Education and Higher Education institutions (field work between 2 October 2003 and 21 November 2003) looking at their attitudes and policies towards open source software. The purpose of this work was to inform the work plan of the service for 2004 and 2005, and provide a sound basis for understanding the issues.

The study was written by David Tannenbaum. At the time David was a D.Phil student in economic and social history at Worcester College, University of Oxford writing his dissertation on the history of free software.

The main part of the study was a survey of IT managers. This investigated the current state of participation in free and open source software both in terms of projects developing such software and institutional deployment of such software.