Linguistic Adoption in Online Citizen Science: A Structurational Perspective

Publication Type:

Conference Paper

Source:

International Conference on Information Systems, Munich, Germany (2019)

Abstract:

For peer-production projects to be successful, members must develop a specific and common language that enables them to cooperate. We address the question of what factors affect the development of shared language in open peer production communities? Answering this question is important because we want the communities to be productive even when self-managed, which requires understanding how shared language emerges. We examine this question using a structurational lens in the setting of a citizen science project. Examining the use of words in the Gravity Spy citizen science project, we find that many words are reused and that most novel words that are introduced are not picked up, showing reproduction of structure. However, some novel words are used by others, showing an evolution of the structure. Participants with roles closer to the science are more likely to have their words reused, showing the mutually reinforcing nature of structures of signification, legitimation and domination.

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