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Revisiting and updating the state of library open source software research

Namjoo Choi (School of Information Science, College of Communication and Information, University of Kentucky, Lexington, Kentucky, USA)

The Electronic Library

ISSN: 0264-0473

Article publication date: 18 January 2023

Issue publication date: 2 February 2023




The purpose of this paper is to revisit and update Palmer and Choi (2014), which conducted a descriptive literature review on open source software (OSS) studies published by the end of February 2013 in the library context.


The same article search and filtering procedures used in Palmer and Choi (2014) were used, resulting in a total sample size of 105 articles. These articles were then examined based on the same six variables (i.e. publication year, publication outlet, software type, article type, library type and article topic) from Palmer and Choi (2014) along with two new variables (i.e., study country and prolific authors).


The volume of research articles was found to be in a downwards trend since 2010. As suggested by Palmer and Choi (2014), survey research increased and was found to be the second most popular article type. Regarding library types, the proportion of articles in the context of academic and research libraries was found to have expanded even further. As to article topics, perceptions, which investigates users’ (or non-users’) various perceptions towards OSS, was newly added and was ranked fourth. Given the maturity of the research stream, two new variables (i.e., study country and prolific authors) were examined, and the findings from analyzing them are also presented.


By examining library OSS articles published between March 2013 and February 2022, this study uncovers changes and developments in the research since Palmer and Choi (2014), which provides a picture of where the research stands now with several updated and new implications.



Choi, N. (2023), "Revisiting and updating the state of library open source software research", The Electronic Library, Vol. 41 No. 1, pp. 137-151.



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