Category Archives: Full Research Papers

Motivation of Newcomers to FLOSS Projects

Title: Motivation of Newcomers to FLOSS Projects

Authors: Christoph Hannebauer and Volker Gruhn (paluno – The Ruhr Institute for Software Technology University of Duisburg-Essen)

Abstract: While the motivations of Free/Libre and Open Source Software (FLOSS) developers have been the subject of extensive research, the motivations for their initial contribution to a FLOSS project has received only little attention. This survey of 94 newcomers to the FLOSS projects Mozilla and GNOME identifies the motivations for the modification of the FLOSS components and for the submission of these modifications back to the FLOSS project. With the responses, we test a hypothesis based on the previous qualitative research on newcomer motivations: Most newcomers modify a component because they need the modification for themselves. Surprisingly, this is not the case for our respondents, who have a variety of primary modification motivations. Newcomer occupation is discussed as a reason for this difference to previous results.

This contribution to OpenSym 2016 will be made available as part of the OpenSym 2016 proceedings on or after August 17, 2016.

Structured Wikis – Application Oriented Use Cases

Title: Structured Wikis – Application Oriented Use Cases

Authors: Stefan Voigt, Frank Fuchs-Kittowski, Andreas Gohr

Abstract: Structured wikis combine the flexibility advantage of traditional wikis with the possibility of presenting structures and relationships in a partly automated fashion. Such wikis can, for example, map process structures and thus support complex processes. Taking the ICKEwiki as an example, this paper examines the differences between traditional and structured wikis by presenting four different real-life sample cases.

This contribution to OpenSym 2014 will be made available as part of the OpenSym 2014 proceedings on or after August 27, 2014.

Investigating Incentives for Students to Provide Peer Feedback in a Semi-Open Online Course: An Experimental Study

Title: Investigating Incentives for Students to Provide Peer Feedback in a Semi-Open Online Course: An Experimental Study

Authors: German Neubaum (University of Duisburg-Essen), Astrid Wichmann (Ruhr University Bochum), Sabrina C. Eimler (University of Duisburg-Essen), Nicole C. Krämer (University of Duisburg-Essen)

Abstract: In open online learning courses such as MOOCs, peer feedback has been regarded as a powerful method to give elaborated feedback on weekly assignments. Yet motivating students to invest effort in peer feedback on top of existing work load is difficult. Students might give insufficient feedback or do not give feedback at all. Students’ hesitation to provide feedback might be related to the lack of visibility of spent effort during feedback provision. Alternatively, students might provide less feedback due to lack of perceived benefits. In this study, we investigated the effect of two incentive types on peer feedback provision on weekly assignments. In total, 91 students enrolled in a semi-open online course were announced to receive either (1) a peer rating on their feedback or (2) open access to assignment solutions or (3) no incentive. Results indicate that the incentive type did not affect feedback provision in general, yet it had an impact on the content of the feedback. Students receiving (1) a rating-feedback incentive wrote longer and more specific feedback in comparison to students receiving (2) an information-access incentive or (3) no incentive. Results contribute to findings from peer assessment research that students are more likely to provide detailed feedback if students feel that feedback is attended to. Furthermore, results inform teachers and practitioners on how to encourage students to provide peer feedback in open learning environments.

This contribution to OpenSym 2014 will be made available as part of the OpenSym 2014 proceedings on or after August 27, 2014.

Standing in Misunderstanding: Analyzing Boundary Objects’ Effectiveness in Innovation Communities

Title: Standing in Misunderstanding: Analyzing Boundary Objects’ Effectiveness in Innovation Communities

Authors: Marc Marheineke, Hagen Habicht

Abstract: In this paper we investigate the use of virtual objects for knowledge exchange in communities. Information systems provide a wide range of new (virtual) objects for community members which support non-canonical collaboration required for knowledge creation [4,23]. From a sociological perspective these objects are means to cross knowledge boundaries in communities [6]. In our study we extend this aspect by a technical perspective of how virtual objects effectively facilitate activities of knowledge creation. Media Synchronicity Theory [10] proposes how to best accomplish communication performance. It predicts that to achieve effective communication, the two primary communication strategies of conveyance of information and convergence on meaning need to be supported. Building upon this discussion, we examine the use of virtual objects in a dynamic process of knowledge creation. We will draw conclusions on how to appropriately use virtual objects for communication. Our empirical study is based on multiple cases [32] of knowledge communities. Qualitative data has been gathered from the participants of six focused group discussions conducted on a virtual whiteboard which comprises a media choice to interact in real time. The results detail information on the actual use (and not use) of virtual objects (media) for knowledge creation. Based on our findings we empirically confirm the core propositions of Media Synchronicity Theory. We conclude with managerial recommendations on how to employ virtual objects for increasing the effectiveness of dynamic processes of knowledge creation.

This contribution to OpenSym 2014 will be made available as part of the OpenSym 2014 proceedings on or after August 27, 2014.

What Do Chinese-language Microblog Users do with Baidu Baike and Chinese Wikipedia? A Case Study of Information Engagement

Title: What Do Chinese-language Microblog Users do with Baidu Baike and Chinese Wikipedia? A Case Study of Information Engagement

Authors: Han-Teng Liao

Abstract: This paper presents a case study of information engagement based on microblog posts gathered from Sina Weibo and Twitter that mentioned the two major Chinese-language user-generated encyclopaedias. The content analysis shows that microblog users not only engaged in public discussions by using and citing both encyclopaedias, but also shared their perceptions and experiences more generally with various online platforms and China’s filtering/censorship regime to which user-generated content and activities are subjected. This exploratory study thus raises several research and practice questions on the links between public discussions and information engagement on user-generated platforms.

This contribution to OpenSym 2014 will be made available as part of the OpenSym 2014 proceedings on or after August 27, 2014.

Hackers on Forking

Title: Hackers on Forking

Authors: Linus Nyman (Hanken University, Finland)

Abstract: All open source licenses allow the copying of an existing body of code for use as the basis of a separate development project. This practice is commonly known as forking the code. This paper presents the results of a study in which 11 programmers were interviewed about their opinions on the right to fork and the impact of forking on open source software development. The results show that there is a general consensus among programmers’ views regarding both the favourable and unfavourable aspects that stem from the right to fork. Interestingly, while all programmers noted potential downsides to the right to fork, it was seen by all as an integral component of open source software, and a right that must not be infringed regardless of circumstance or outcome.

This contribution to OpenSym 2014 will be made available as part of the OpenSym 2014 proceedings on or after August 27, 2014.

Cross-fertilization vs. Collaboration in Simulations of Open Innovation

Title: Cross-fertilization vs. Collaboration in Simulations of Open Innovation

Authors: Albrecht Fritzsche

Abstract: Evolutionary models allow us to approach innovation by the means of computer simulation with genetic algorithms. Open innovation can be considered in these models in different ways. A popular model by David Goldberg connects re-combinations of elements during evolutionary processes with the exchange of information in cross-fertilization activities. Another possibility is to model the collaboration of contributors with specific skills and experiences through sophisticated change operators that work systematically on improvements with respect to certain aspects of the innovation context. A simulation of this procedure on an instance of the permutation flow shop scheduling problem shows that the usage of these operators can indeed increase the performance of the solution generation, if certain constraints are kept in consideration.

This contribution to OpenSym 2014 will be made available as part of the OpenSym 2014 proceedings on or after August 27, 2014.

Accept, Decline, Postpone: How Newcomer Productivity is Reduced in English Wikipedia by Pre-publication Review

Title: Accept, Decline, Postpone: How Newcomer Productivity is Reduced in English Wikipedia by Pre-publication Review

Authors: Jodi Schneider, Bluma S. Gelley, Aaron Halfaker

Abstract: Wikipedia needs to attract and retain newcomers while also increasing the quality of its content. Yet new Wikipedia users are disproportionately affected by the quality assurance mechanisms designed to thwart spammers and promoters. English Wikipedia’s Articles for Creation provides a protected space for drafting new articles, which are reviewed against minimum quality guidelines before they are published. In this study we explore how this drafting process has affected the productivity of newcomers in Wikipedia. Using a mixed qualitative and quantitative approach, we show how the process’s pre-publication review, which is intended to improve the success of newcomers, in fact decreases newcomer productivity in English Wikipedia and offer recommendations for system designers.

This contribution to OpenSym 2014 will be made available as part of the OpenSym 2014 proceedings on or after August 27, 2014.

WikiBrain: Democratizing Computation on Wikipedia

Title: AWikiBrain: Democratizing Computation on Wikipedia

Authors: Shilad Sen, Matt Lesicko, Ari Weiland, Rebecca Gold, Yulun Li, Benjamin Hillmann, Toby Jia-Jun Li, and Brent Hecht

Abstract: Wikipedia is known for serving humans’ informational needs. Over the past decade, the encyclopedic knowledge encoded in Wikipedia has also powerfully served computer systems. Leading algorithms in artificial intelligence, natural language processing, data mining, geographic information science, and many other fields analyze the text and structure of articles to build computational models of the world. Many software packages extract knowledge from Wikipedia. However, existing tools either (1) provide Wikipedia data, but not well-known Wikipedia-based algorithms or (2) narrowly focus on one such algorithm. This paper presents the WikiBrain software framework, an extensible Java-based platform that democratizes access to a range of Wikipedia-based algorithms and technologies. WikiBrain provides simple access to the diverse Wikipedia data needed for semantic algorithms and technologies, ranging from page views to Wikidata. In a few lines of code, a developer can use WikiBrain to access Wikipedia data and state-of-the-art algorithms. WikiBrain also enables researchers to extend Wikipedia-based algorithms and evaluate their extensions. WikiBrain promotes a new vision of the Wikipedia software ecosystem: every researcher and developer should have access to state-of-the-art Wikipedia-based technologies.

This contribution to OpenSym 2014 will be made available as part of the OpenSym 2014 proceedings on or after August 27, 2014.

Creme de la Creme: Elite Contributors in an Online Community

Title: Creme de la Creme: Elite Contributors in an Online Community

Authors: Katherine Panciera, Mikhil Masli, Loren Terveen

Abstract: In open content communities like Wikipedia and StackOverflow and in open source software projects, a small proportion of users produce a majority of the content and take on much of the required community maintenance work. Understanding this class of users is crucial to creating and sustaining healthy communities. We carried out a mixed-method study of core contributors to the Cyclopath geographic wiki and bicycle routing web site. We present our findings and organize our discussion using concepts from activity theory. We found that the Cyclopath core contributors aren’t the dedicated cyclists and that the characteristics of the community shape the site, the rules, and the tools for contributing. Additionally, we found that numerous aspects about the surrounding ecology of related systems and communities may help to shape how the site functions and views itself. We draw implications for future research and design from these findings.

This contribution to OpenSym 2014 will be made available as part of the OpenSym 2014 proceedings on or after August 27, 2014.