John McLevey, Knowledge Integration Assistant Professor has been awarded a prestigious grant for his project, entitled: "Collaborative Design in Online Networks: The Case of Linux Developers." This grant is funded by an Insight Development Grant from the Social Science and Humanities Research Council of Canada.
This project analyzes communication networks among Linux developers to better understand how Internet-enabled and geographically-dispersed collaborations shape the development of technical systems. In particular, it emphasizes collaborative relationships that cross institutional boundaries, such as between developers from non-profit foundations, industry, and academia.
Articles in progress from this grant examine changes in the structure of the developer network over an 18 month period, and map the diffusion of help and new ideas through the network. Other articles use interviews with central developers to better understand how conflicting interests, ethical commitments, and licenses are negotiated in large open source projects.