Peripheral Developer Participation in Open Source Projects: An Empirical Analysis

TitlePeripheral Developer Participation in Open Source Projects: An Empirical Analysis
Publication TypeJournal Article
Year of Publication2016
AuthorsKrishnamurthy, Rajiv, Jacob Varghese, Radhakrishnan Suresh, and Dogan Kutsal
Secondary TitleACM Trans. Manage. Inf. Syst.
Place PublishedNew York, NY, USA
ISSN Number2158-656X
KeywordsCode ownership, open source software, project management, software metrics

The success of the Open Source model of software development depends on the voluntary participation of external developers (the peripheral developers), a group that can have distinct motivations from that of project founders (the core developers). In this study, we examine peripheral developer participation by empirically examining approximately 2,600 open source projects. In particular, we hypothesize that peripheral developer participation is higher when the potential for building reputation by gaining recognition from project stakeholders is higher. We consider recognition by internal stakeholders (such as core developers) and external stakeholders (such as end-users and peers). We find a positive association between peripheral developer participation and the potential of stakeholder recognition after controlling for bug reports, feature requests, and other key factors. Our findings provide important insights for OSS founders and corporate managers for open sourcing or OSS adoption decisions.