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

  • Kevin Crowston
  • Ivan Shamshurin
Conference paper
Part of the IFIP Advances in Information and Communication Technology book series (IFIPAICT, volume 472)


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.


Support Vector Machine Model Project Success Core Member Open Source Software Project Human Coder 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.



We thank the SOCQA Project (Nancy McCracken PI) for access to the coded sentences for training and Feifei Zhang for checking the coding results. SOCQA was partially supported by a grant from the US National Science Foundation Socio-computational Systems (SOCS) program, award 11–11107.


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Copyright information

© IFIP International Federation for Information Processing 2016

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Syracuse University School of Information StudiesSyracuseUSA
  2. 2.Syracuse University School of Information StudiesSyracuseUSA

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