Boot Camp: Thinking About Network Structures, Influence Measures and Learning in Open Source Software


If you are thinking about getting involved in open source software research and development, particularly work on open source software community health, this post is intended to give you an overview of one particular opportunity (among many) in the rapidly changing, increasingly corporate engaged open source software community. Think of this as the “I know a limited amount about open source, but i have research questions that represent “x”. I think in this case our shared interest may be at the intersection of social network analysis of trace data that is *meaningful* and understanding technologically mediated learning processes. Many GitHub users come to GitHub to learn. And the many ways they interact with each other, leaving traces behind in each case, help us understand constructs like popularity, influence and momentum. Below are some of my pubs, one other pub, and the annotated GHTorrent Schema; which is ONE of several data sources we have, but the one that will be most helpful for starting to understand how people go about understanding work and performance on GitHub. Look over CHAOSS and Augur first. Then, if you’re interested, contact us at @augurlabs on Twitter or check out the CHAOSS Community website, which happens to be the first link, below.

For an overview of how the research teams at the University of Nebraska-Omaha and the University of Missouri-Columbia are thinking about Open Source Software Research Today, check out our upcoming ACM CSCW/Transactions on HCI paper!

Overview Websites:

  1. CHAOSS Community Website
  2. Augur Software example
  3. Augur Website

GitHub papers and information to think about with regards to social networks, learning and the CHAOSS Project/Augur Software:

  1. Promises and Perils of Mining GitHub
  2. Structural Fluidity
  3. CHI Paper on GitHub
  4. Learning Analytics Focused DSA from my Dissertation Data
  5. My Group Informatics paper, or Group Informatics: Ontology: Kind of a How to Guide for translating trace data into socially “appropriate” social networks”
  6. “Toward a Theory of Influence in Online Communities”
  7. A more qualitative open source paper using complex systems theory

Annotated Data Structure:

Schema for GHTorrent, which, while not our only data source, is an excellent place to get starting thinking about research questions and constructs in open source software.




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