Reducing Knowledge Loss in Open Source Software

Title: Reducing Knowledge Loss in Open Source Software

Author: Mehvish Rashid: Lero, DCU

Abstract: Contributor turnover leads to knowledge loss in OSS projects. The structure of the OSS community is transient in nature, yet continual maintenance of OSS projects is required for their sustainability. Even though knowledge creation and sharing is abundant, knowledge is not evenly distributed among contributors. Only a small subset of contributors called core members make major code contributions in OSS projects. It is costly for a contributor to maintain code from other contributors on the project and to seek out assistance and information required, resulting in productivity loss. Knowledge retention mechanisms, we suggest, could be improved in OSS projects. The objective of our work is to integrate the concept of knowledge retention in OSS projects. The challenge is how to apply concepts of knowledge management in such a dynamic community with a transient workforce.

Download: This contribution is part of the OpenSym 2017 proceedings and is available as a PDF file.

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