Category Archives: OpenSym 2018

How FLOSS Participation Supports Lifelong Learning and Working: Apprenticeship Across Time and Spatialities

Title: How FLOSS Participation Supports Lifelong Learning and Working: Apprenticeship Across Time and Spatialities

Author: Aditya Johri, George Mason University

Abstract: In this paper I draw on two case studies to examine participatory learning in Free/Libre and Open Source Software (FLOSS). I contribute to prior work on learning within FLOSS and also to the learning sciences by illustrating how FLOSS supports lifelong learning and working by providing an ecosystem that allows participants to grow their knowledge of both technical and non-technical skills over time through their association with different projects and people. I trace the learning trajectories of two participants from high school until they enter the professional workforce and beyond. I argue that FLOSS participation represents an ideal networked form of learning as it provides both socio-cognitive support for short term activities and also socio-temporal support for long term participation and learning. It is a unique form of apprenticeship that exists concurrently with formal educational experiences but unlike traditional apprenticeship experiences it succeeds by spanning different spatialities – place/space and technology mix – and temporal scales.

Download: This contribution is part of the OpenSym 2018 proceedings and is available as a PDF file.

University students in the educational field and Wikipedia vandalism retention

Title: University students in the educational field and Wikipedia vandalism retention

Authors: Angel Obregon Sierra, Wikimedia Spain, and Jorge Oceja, University of Cantabria

Abstract: Wikipedia is an online, open and free encyclopaedia edited collaboratively. Today it is the fifth most visited website and the most used online encyclopaedia. Volunteer editors from around the world can edit its content, allowing users to intentionally provide incorrect information. This research aims to find the extent to which a particular group of university students vandalize Wikipedia, while also exploring their perceptions of vandalism. Data is obtained from a questionnaire sent to university students in educational psychology, early and primary childhood education, and related master’s programs, as well as a focus group involving a sample of these students and interviews with editors in charge of maintaining Wikipedia. Results show that only a small percentage of students do in fact vandalize. In line with the implicit theories approach, it seems that students and editors have some preconceived ideas (boredom, amusement, or ideological motivations) about what pushes individuals to vandalize.

Download: This contribution is part of the OpenSym 2018 proceedings and is available as a PDF file.

Bridging Citizen Science and Open Educational Resources

Title: Bridging Citizen Science and Open Educational Resources

Authors: Cornelia Veja, Julian Hocker, Christoph Schindler and Stefanie Kollmann, The German Institute for International
Educational Research

Abstract: The ongoing digitization of humanities’ archival information has contributed to make highly valuable and highly distributed corpora available for research. Connecting this distributed knowledge and enriching it with more data following a specific research question is a big challenge in digital humanities. The project Interlinking Pictura (IP) addresses this challenge by bridging Citizen Science with Open Educational Resources (OER). In order to achieve this objective, citizens are involved in a broad range of participatory levels of research. Besides the involvement of lay researchers (retired teachers, citizen associations etc.), IP adjusts the tasks to open educational resources for distributing and for an easy integration into learning environments. The IP project is built on semantic wiki platform and involves open linked data to enrich the corpus. This offers the possibility to realize the interoperability at multiple levels using standardized vocabularies. In IP the object of interest is the multilingual “Bilderbuch für Kinder” (illustrated book for children) by F. J. Bertuch (1790-1830), which is one of the earliest encyclopedias for children and a milestone in the development of educational resources. An open edition has been created using Semantic MediaWiki as a collaborative platform to facilitate citizens’ contribution. The main goal of IP is the creation of an interlinked corpus about Bertuch`s illustrated book through connecting the distributed knowledge about its creation, reception, and usage in pedagogical practices.

Download: This contribution is part of the OpenSym 2018 proceedings and is available as a PDF file.

The Consent Of The Crowd Detected In An Open Forum

Title: The Consent Of The Crowd Detected In An Open Forum

Authors: Mattias Mano, École polytechnique, Jean-Michel Dalle,  Sorbonne Université, and Joanna Tomasik, CentraleSupélec

Abstract: Within Reddit, Change My View is a specific debate forum where anyone can expose her or his view on a given topic and ask the crowd to provide counter-arguments with the aim of potentially changing this view. CMV uses a dual reward system according to which a) anyone, often the person who had asked the initial question, can highlight and acknowledge an argument (a post) by giving it a “delta” (∆) and b) anyone can up- or down-vote one or several posts in a discussion. We take advantage of this dual reward system to investigate a phenomenon we call the Consent of the Crowd. Our results provide evidence on the use of the up-vote reward system by the crowd in order to express a dissent against the ∆ reward. This phenomenon may be observed when not enough contributors got a chance to join the discussion before the ∆ is granted. Our result highlights the necessity for forum moderators to foster discussion between as many participants as possible before closing discussions.

Download: This contribution is part of the OpenSym 2018 proceedings and is available as a PDF file.

“Sharing small pieces of the world”: Increasing and broadening participation in Wikimedia Commons

Title: “Sharing small pieces of the world”: Increasing and broadening participation in Wikimedia Commons

Authors: Amanda Menking, University of Washington, Vaibhavi Rangarajan, University of Washington, and Michael Gilbert, Google

Abstract: Wikimedia Commons is the largest online repository of freely-licensed multimedia files, including approximately 42 million images. A portion of these images serve to illustrate articles across more than 290 different language Wikipedias and “sister projects.” However, in comparison to photo-sharing sites like Flickr and mobile apps like Instagram, Commons is largely unknown to the general public and under-researched by scholars. We conducted an exploratory study to determine if an alternative means of contribution— a mobile application that gamifies implicitly desirable and useful behavior—could broaden awareness of and participation in Commons. Our findings from an online survey (N=103) suggest that by creating value around implicitly desirable behaviors, we can create new opportunities and alternative pathways for both increasing and broadening participation in peer-production communities such as Commons.

Download: This contribution is part of the OpenSym 2018 proceedings and is available as a PDF file.

Participation Inequality in Wikis: A Temporal Analysis Using WikiChron

Title: Participation Inequality in Wikis: A Temporal Analysis Using WikiChron

Authors: Abel Serrano, Javier Arroyo and Samer Hassan, Complutense de Madrid

Abstract: It is widely accepted that peer production communities show a high level of inequality in the level of participation. Typically, we can observe a power law in the distribution of contributions. However, we argue that participation inequality, and specifically its evolution over time, has been understudied. Previous research has concentrated on large successful projects (e.g. Wikipedia), leaving a gap regarding small or mid-size communities. The wiki ecosystem is highly diverse, and so it may be the participation distribution in the communities and its evolution. The aim of this work is twofold: (1) To show a novel webtool, WikiChron, for the analysis of wiki evolution, with a focus on inequality metrics; (2) To provide relevant cases of comparative analysis that show the diversity of the wiki ecosystem, with examples that are counter-intuitive or contradict existing literature, while reflecting the limits of single-metric studies. We aim to open lines of wiki research which require the use of multiple metrics to study participation inequality.

Download: This contribution is part of the OpenSym 2018 proceedings and is available as a PDF file.

Characterizing the Triggering Phenomenon in Wikipedia

Title: Characterizing the Triggering Phenomenon in Wikipedia

Authors: Anamika Chhabra and S. R. Sudarshan Iyengar, Indian Institute of Technology Ropar

Abstract: Collaborative knowledge building achieves better results than individual knowledge building essentially due to the triggering phenomenon taking place among the users in a collaborative setting. Although the literature points to a few theories supporting the existence of this phenomenon, yet these theories have never been validated in real collaborative environments, thus questioning their general prevalence. In this work, we provide a mechanized way to observe the presence of triggering in knowledge building environments. We implement the method on the most-edited articles of Wikipedia and show that it may help in discerning how the existing knowledge leads to the inclusion of more knowledge in these articles. The proposed technique may further be used in other collaborative knowledge building settings as well. The insights obtained from the study will help the portal designers in building portals enabling optimal triggering.

Download: This contribution is part of the OpenSym 2018 proceedings and is available as a PDF file.

Exploring the Relationship Between “Informal Standards” and Contributor Practice in OpenStreetMap

Title: Exploring the Relationship Between “Informal Standards” and Contributor Practice in OpenStreetMap

Authors: Andrew Hall, University of Minnesota, Jacob Thebault-Spieker, Virginia Tech, Shilad Sen, Macalester College, Brent Hecht, Northwestern University, and Loren Terveen, University of Minnesota

Abstract: Peer production communities create valuable content such as software, encyclopedia articles, and map data. As part of the creation process, these communities define production standards for their content, e.g., semantic and syntactic requirements. We carried out a study in OpenStreetMap to investigate the role of that community’s standards for geographic metadata. We found that most applied metadata was consistent with the community’s standards; however, we also found that the standards identified many opportunities for applying metadata that were not achieved. In addition, when we situated the standards in the context of OpenStreetMap’s data model, we found a significant amount of ambiguity; the syntax allowed only one value, but everyday meaning — and the standards themselves — called for multiple values. Our results suggest significant opportunities for OpenStreetMap to produce additional valuable open source content to power applications.

Download: This contribution is part of the OpenSym 2018 proceedings and is available as a PDF file.

What is the Commons Worth? Estimating the Value of Wikimedia Imagery by Observing Downstream Use

Title: What is the Commons Worth? Estimating the Value of Wikimedia Imagery by Observing Downstream Use

Authors: Kristofer Erickson, University of Leeds, Felix Rodrigues Perez, independent scholar, and Jesus Rodrigues Perez, University of Glasgow

Abstract: The Wikimedia Commons (WC) is a peer-produced repository of freely licensed images, videos, sounds and interactive media, containing more than 45 million files. This paper attempts to quantify the societal value of the WC by tracking the downstream use of images found on the platform. We take a random sample of 10,000 images from WC and apply an automated reverse-image search to each, recording when and where they are used ‘in the wild’. We detect 54,758 downstream uses of the initial sample and we characterise these at the level of generic and country-code top-level domains (TLDs). We analyse the impact of specific variables on the odds that an image is used. The random sampling technique enables us to estimate overall value of all images contained on the platform. Drawing on the method employed by Heald et al (2015), we find a potential contribution of USD $28.9 billion from downstream use of Wikimedia Commons images over the lifetime of the project.

Download: This contribution is part of the OpenSym 2018 proceedings and is available as a PDF file.

Developing A Framework to Assess Socio-economic Value of Open Data in India

Title: Developing A Framework to Assess Socio-economic Value of Open Data in India

Authors: Sharon Buteau, Preethi Rao, Vigneshraja Kadirvell and Anshuman Kumar Mehta, IFMR LEAD

Abstract: This paper attempts to develop a framework to assess the socio-economic value of Open Data in India. The paper discusses the various actors, their roles vis-a-vis usage of Open Data to generate intended output, and the net results of expected outcomes at the macro level. The paper further elaborates on how the framework is intended to observe and measure benefits arising as a result of Open Data production and utilization across various sectors in India and the value it creates for the stakeholders. The framework developed in this paper is intended to form the basis of a more elaborate study under which we aim to determine the rupee value of Open Data in India. An assessment of the value created by Open Data will provide the necessary insights to Open Data producers to base their decisions as regards scaling of their efforts as well as provide the much necessary feedback to the Open Data ecosystem as a whole.

Download: This contribution is part of the OpenSym 2018 proceedings and is available as a PDF file.