[Air-l] 3 new papers + 1 updated paper + 2 call for papers on freesoftware.mit.edu

Karim R. Lakhani lakhani at MIT.EDU
Mon Sep 20 14:34:04 PDT 2004

Hello Friends,
<sorry for any x-postings>

I have updated our community website to reflect new paper submissions.  Many thanks to all the authors for their contributions.  Please provide direct feedback to the authors!

See you soon,


Paper 1

Nadine Kalwey, Stefan Kooths, Markus Langenfurth

Open Source Software - An Economic Assessment 

This study examines whether or not Open Source Software represents an
economically suitable alternative to the proprietary commercial software
market in terms of creating value-added and economic efficiency. Whereas no
significant differences between both production processes are seen for
customized software, the study comes to the conclusion that serious economic
problems can occur in the field of packaged software. Starting from a
discussion on how licenses like the GPL affect the ability to price software
(which is usually below economic production costs), the impact of below cost
pricing on the coordination capacity of software markets (customer
sovereignty, resource allocation, income distribution, adaptability and
innovation) and the sustainability of complementary strategies of Open
Source business models (with and without cross subsidization of the
non-market OSS-core) are described. Throughout the study, the role of the
pricing system within a market economy is stressed considering the specific
characteristics of software as an economic good. Aspects other than economic
are not taken into account.

Paper 2

Kevin Crowston, Hala Annabi, James Howison and Chengetai Masango 

Towards a Portfolio of FLOSS project Success Measures. 

Project success is one of the most widely used dependent variables in information systems research. However, conventional measures of project success are difficult to apply to Free/Libre Open Source Software projects. In this paper, we present an analysis of four measures of success applied to SourceForge projects: number of members of the extended development community, project activity, bug fixing time and number of downloads. We argue that these four measures provide different insights into the collaboration and control mechanisms of the projects.

Paper 3

James Howison and Kevin Crowston 

The perils and pitfalls of mining SourceForge. 


SourceForge provides abundant accessible data from Open Source Software development projects, making it an attractive data source for software engineering research. However it is not without theoretical peril and practical pitfalls. In this paper, we outline practical lessons gained from our spidering, parsing and analysis of SourceForge data. SourceForge can be practically difficult: projects are defunct, data from earlier systems has been dumped in and crucial data is hosted outside SourceForge, dirtying the retrieved data. These practical issues play directly into analysis: decisions made in screening projects can reduce the range of variables, skewing data and biasing correlations. SourceForge is theoretically perilous: because it provides easily accessible data items for each project, tempting researchers to fit their theories to these limited data. Worse, few are plausible dependent variables. Studies are thus likely to test the same hypotheses even if they start from 
different theoretical bases. To avoid these problems, analyses of SourceForge projects should go beyond project level variables and carefully consider which variables are used for screening projects and which for testing hypotheses.

Updated Paper

West, Joel & Siobhán O’Mahony

Contrasting Community Building in Sponsored and Community Founded Open Source Projects

Prior characterizations of open source projects have been based on the model of a community-founded project. More recently, a second model has emerged, where organizations spinout internally developed code to a public forum. Based on field work on open source projects, we compare the lifecycle differences between these two models. We identify problems unique to spinout projects, particularly in attracting and building an external community. We illustrate these issues with a feasibility analysis of a proposed open source project based on VistA, the primary healthcare information system of the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs. This example illuminates the complexities of building a community after a code base has been developed and suggests that open source software can be used to transfer technology to the private sector.


Call for Papers & Book Chapters
Journal:Knowledge, Technology & Policy, Second Special Issue on Open Source
Editors:Ruben van Wendel de Joode, Delft University of Technology, Yuwei Lin, University of York & Shay David, Cornell University 	
Deadline:December 1, 2005 	
See Call for Papers:http://opensource.mit.edu/papers/ktpcallforpapers.pdf

Book: The Economics of Open Source Software Development: Analyzing Motivation, Organization, Innovation and Competition in 
the Open Source Software Revolution 	
Editors: Dr. Jürgen Bitzer, Free University Berlin & Philipp J.H. Schröder, Ph.D., Aarhus School of Business 	
Deadline: February 1, 2005 	
See Call for Book Chapters: http://opensource.mit.edu/papers/bookcallforchapters.pdf

Karim R. Lakhani
MIT Sloan | The Boston Consulting Group
Mobile: +1 (617) 851-1224
http://web.mit.edu/lakhani/www | http://opensource.mit.edu 

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