Core-Periphery Communication and the Success of Free/Libre Open Source Software Projects

Publication Type:

Conference Paper


IFIP International Conference on Open Source Systems, Springer, p.45–56 (2016)


We examine the relationship between communications by core and peripheral members and Free/Libre Open Source Software project success. The study uses data from 74 projects in the Apache Software Foundation Incubator. We conceptualize project success in terms of success building a community, as assessed by graduation from the Incubator. We compare successful and unsuccessful projects on volume of communication by core (committer) and peripheral community members and on use of inclusive pronouns as an indication of efforts to create intimacy among team members. An innovation of the paper is that use of inclusive pronouns is measured using natural language processing techniques. We find that core and peripheral members differ in their volume of contribution and in their use of inclusive pronouns, and that volume of communication is related to project success.

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