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Article

Kangning Wei, Kevin Crowston and U. Yeliz Eseryel

This paper explores how task characteristics in terms of trigger type and task topic influence individual participation in community-based free/libre open source software

Abstract

Purpose

This paper explores how task characteristics in terms of trigger type and task topic influence individual participation in community-based free/libre open source software (FLOSS) development by considering participation in individual tasks rather than entire projects.

Design/methodology/approach

A quantitative study was designed using choose tasks that were carried out via the email discourse on the developers' email fora in five FLOSS projects. Choice process episodes were selected as the unit of analysis and were coded for the task trigger and topic. The impact of these factors on participation (i.e. the numbers of participants and messages) was assessed by regression.

Findings

The results reveal differences in participation related to different task triggers and task topics. Further, the results suggest the mediating role of the number of participants in the relationships between task characteristics and the number of messages. The authors also speculate that project type serves as a boundary condition restricting the impacts of task characteristics on the number of participants and propose this relationship for future research.

Research limitations/implications

Empirical support was provided to the important effects of different task characteristics on individual participation behaviors in FLOSS development tasks.

Practical implications

The findings can help FLOSS participants understand participation patterns in different tasks and choose the types of tasks to attend to.

Originality/value

This research explores the impact of task characteristics on participation in FLOSS development at the task level, while prior research on participation in FLOSS development has focused mainly on factors at the individual and/or project levels.

Details

Internet Research, vol. ahead-of-print no. ahead-of-print
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1066-2243

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Article

Stephanie Freeman

The purpose of this paper is to critically examine the often complex and contradictory argumentation of a spectrum of different Finnish public sector actors interviewed on…

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to critically examine the often complex and contradictory argumentation of a spectrum of different Finnish public sector actors interviewed on the topical issue of Free/Libre Open Source (FLOSS) adoption.

Design/methodology/approach

The science and technology‐inspired critical discourse‐analytical approach combines insights from Billig et al. and Fairclough, with a special focus on dilemmatic aspects of socially embedded discourses. The vocabularies used to justify FLOSS implementation highlight power struggles on the level of speech.

Findings

The identified dilemmatic discourses express the continuing tension between the freedom to choose, use and develop one's desktop in the spirit of FLOSS on the one hand, and the striving for better desktop control and maintenance by it staff and user advocates on the other.

Research limitations/implications

The research acts as an opening for reframing common and axiomatic knowledge on FLOSS tools.

Practical implications

The asymmetry between the layperson (the ordinary user) and the expert (IT staff) manifests itself in discourse in a way that calls for critical re‐evaluation of the language used in information communication technology (ICT) implementation and support. It also questions the role of pilots in ICT implementation.

Originality/value

The paper critically examines the often taken‐for‐granted ideals of open source software and elaborates a methodological tool for spotting power struggles on the level of speech.

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Article

Bruno Rossi, Barbara Russo and Giancarlo Succi

In this paper the authors aim to investigate the importance of factors for the adoption of free/libre open source software (FLOSS) in the public sector. They seek to…

Abstract

Purpose

In this paper the authors aim to investigate the importance of factors for the adoption of free/libre open source software (FLOSS) in the public sector. They seek to evaluate how different factors impact during the initiation and implementation phases of the adoption process.

Design/methodology/approach

The authors base the methodological approach on two exploratory case studies with a contrasting result logic. They build a multi‐level framework grounded both on literature review, and feedback from stakeholders. They then apply the framework to two case studies to better frame the findings. They consider phases of adoption (initiation, implementation) and the levels of adoption (technological, organizational, environmental, individual).

Findings

In the case studies, the authors found the importance of a strong and decision‐centric management board to give the impulse for the initiation phase of the process. As perceived by the stakeholders, a strong governmental support is of paramount importance to increase the adoption at the public level, although in the case studies examined the initiation stage started from the impulse of a championing management. Both case studies passed the initiation phase successfully. Continuous employees' training, organizational objectives consensus, and business process reengineering have been found important for the implementation phase. In the case study in which these factors were not in place, the implementation phase of adoption failed. Environmental factors – although relevant for the initiation of the adoption process – are less significant during the actual implementation of the adoption process, as the contrasting result logic from the case studies shows.

Research limitations/implications

The study refers to two public organizations in a specific environmental setting. No causality among factors has been inferred. Quantitative objective data have been used to determine the success of adoption, for qualitative data multiple sources have been used when possible to limit threats to validity.

Practical implications

The framework can be used by stakeholders in public organizations to better frame their adoption strategies and to compare results across institutions. Lessons learnt from the case studies can be useful to drive future adoptions of FLOSS.

Originality/value

The framework combines phases of adoption and levels making it possible to frame the analysis of the case studies. It has been operationalized with a set of metrics, and with a protocol for the case studies to increase replicability value.

Details

Information Technology & People, vol. 25 no. 2
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0959-3845

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Article

David M. Berry

This paper examines some of the ethical problems involved in undertaking Internet research and draws on historical accounts as well as contemporary studies to offer an…

Abstract

This paper examines some of the ethical problems involved in undertaking Internet research and draws on historical accounts as well as contemporary studies to offer an analysis of the issues raised. It argues that privacy is a misleading and confusing concept to apply to the Internet, and that the concept of non‐alienation is more resourceful in addressing the many ethical issues surrounding Internet research. Using this as a basis, the paper then investigates the Free/Libre and Open Source research model and argues for the principles of “open source ethics” in researching the online world, which includes a participatory and democratic research method.

Details

Internet Research, vol. 14 no. 4
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1066-2243

Keywords

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Book part

Andrew S. Kanter, Rob Borland, Mourice Barasa, Casey Iiams-Hauser, Olivia Velez, Nadi Nina Kaonga and Matt Berg

Purpose – The purpose of this chapter is to illustrate the importance of using open source technologies and common standards for interoperability when implementing eHealth…

Abstract

Purpose – The purpose of this chapter is to illustrate the importance of using open source technologies and common standards for interoperability when implementing eHealth systems, and to illustrate this through case studies, where possible.

Design/methodology/approach – The sources used to inform this chapter draw from the implementation and evaluation of the eHealth Program in the context of the Millennium Villages Project (MVP).

Findings – As the eHealth Team was tasked to deploy an eHealth architecture, the Millennium Villages Global-Network (MVG-Net), across all 14 of the MVP sites in sub-Saharan Africa, the team not only recognized the need for standards and uniformity but also realized that context would be an important factor. Therefore, the team decided to utilize open source solutions.

Practical implications – The MVP implementation of MVG-Net provides a model for those looking to implement informatics solutions across disciplines and countries. Furthermore, there are valuable lessons learned that the eHealth community can benefit from.

Originality/value – By sharing lessons learned and developing an accessible, open source eHealth platform, we believe that we can more efficiently and rapidly achieve the health-related and collaborative Millennium Development Goals.

Details

Health Information Technology in the International Context
Type: Book
ISBN: 978-1-78052-859-5

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Article

Judith Wusteman

The purpose of this paper is to describe a case study of the development, features and evaluation of a rich internet application for libraries. It aims to demonstrate best…

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to describe a case study of the development, features and evaluation of a rich internet application for libraries. It aims to demonstrate best practice in the use of software standards, development processes and evaluation.

Design/methodology/approach

Web 2.0, open source design methods and usability testing were used within an agile framework.

Findings

The adoption of agile software development methods, coupled with usability testing, would enable the library community to take full advantage of the techniques and principles inherent in Web 2.0 open source software.

Research limitations/implications

A major component of the evaluation of OJAX was a series of usability tests. As is the nature of most usability studies, the results are not generalisable.

Originality/value

Aspects of agile software development methods, such as usability testing and iterative design, are recognised in the literature as contributing to the usability of library software. However, exploration of the use of a full agile framework plus usability testing to facilitate Web 2.0 open source software is rare in library‐related literature.

Details

Aslib Proceedings, vol. 61 no. 3
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0001-253X

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Article

Muhammad Rafiq and Kanwal Ameen

The purpose of this paper is to identify and discuss key issues related to the adoption of open source software (OSS) in Pakistani libraries.

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to identify and discuss key issues related to the adoption of open source software (OSS) in Pakistani libraries.

Design/methodology/approach

Literature review and principal author's first‐hand experience of Koha (OSS) implementation in Provincial Assembly Libraries of Pakistan under Pakistan Legislative Strengthen Project of United States Agency for International Development provide the information and insight for this paper.

Findings

Adoption of OSS in libraries is just at a beginning stage in Pakistan, and only a few organizations have so far made their first move in this direction. The major identified issues affecting OSS adoption in Pakistani libraries are: social (cultural) disparity, conceptual confusions, digital divide, lack of technological, financial, and human development.

Practical implications

The paper will help decision makers plan OSS applications in their libraries.

Originality/value

This is the first paper on the topic in Pakistan and explores the issues involved in OSS adoption in a comprehensive manner. The paper can provide understanding regarding adoption of OSS to professionals in Pakistani and other developing countries with similar environment.

Details

The Electronic Library, vol. 27 no. 4
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0264-0473

Keywords

Abstract

Details

Review of Marketing Research
Type: Book
ISBN: 978-0-85724-727-8

Content available

Abstract

Details

Journal of Information, Communication and Ethics in Society, vol. 8 no. 1
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1477-996X

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Article

Richard Allister Mills and Stefano De Paoli

The purpose of this paper is to further the debate on Knowledge Artefacts (KAs), by presenting the design of WikiRate, a Collective Awareness platform whose goal is to…

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to further the debate on Knowledge Artefacts (KAs), by presenting the design of WikiRate, a Collective Awareness platform whose goal is to support a wider public contributing to the generation of knowledge on environmental, social and governance (ESG) performance of companies.

Design/methodology/approach

The material presented in the paper comes from the first-hand experience of the authors as part of the WikiRate design team. This material is reflexively discussed using concepts from the field of science and technology studies.

Findings

Using the concept of the “funnel of interest”, the authors discuss how the design of a KA like WikiRate relies on the designers’ capacity to translate general statements into particular design solutions. The authors also show how this funnelling helps understanding the interplay between situativity and objectivity in a KA. The authors show how WikiRate is a peer-production platform based on situativity, which requires a robust level of objectivity for producing reliable knowledge about the ESG performance of companies.

Originality/value

This paper furthers the debate on KAs. It presents a relevant design example and offers in the discussion a set of design and community building recommendations to practitioners.

Details

Data Technologies and Applications, vol. 52 no. 1
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 2514-9288

Keywords

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