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Opt-in surveys are the most widespread method used to study participation in online communities, but produce biased results in the absence of adjustments for non-response. A 2008 survey conducted by the Wikimedia Foundation and United Nations University at Maastricht is the source of a frequently cited statistic that less than 13% of Wikipedia contributors(More)
This paper examines the distribution, adoption, and evolution of an open-source toolkit we developed called the LilyPad Arduino. We track the two-year history of the kit and its user community from the time the kit was commercially introduced, in October of 2007, to November of 2009. Using sales data, publicly available project documentation and surveys, we(More)
Despite the egalitarian rhetoric surrounding online cultural production, profound gender inequalities remain in who contributes to one of the most visited Web sites worldwide, Wikipedia. In analyzing this persistent disparity, previous research has focused on aspects of current contributors and the existing Wikipedia community. We draw on unique panel(More)
It has been suggested that the superior quality of many Free Software projects in comparison to their proprietary counterparts is in part due to the Free Software commu-nity's extensive source code peer-review process. While many argue that software is best developed by individuals or small teams, the process of debugging is highly paral-lizable. This " one(More)
In this paper, we explore the role that attribution plays in shaping user reactions to content reuse, or remixing, in a large user-generated content community. We present two studies using data from the Scratch online community - a social media platform where hundreds of thousands of young people share and remix animations and video games. First, we present(More)
In this paper we describe the ways participants of the Scratch online community, primarily young people, engage in remix-ing of each others' shared animations, games, and interactive projects. In particular, we try to answer the following questions: How do users respond to remixing in a social media environment where remixing is explicitly permitted? What(More)
Peer production projects like Wikipedia have inspired voluntary associations, collectives, social movements, and scholars to embrace open online collaboration as a model of democratic organization. However, many peer production projects exhibit entrenched leadership and deep inequalities, suggesting that they may not fulfill democratic ideals. Instead, peer(More)
In this paper we argue that there is a trade-off between generativity and originality in online communities that support open collaboration. We build on foundational theoretical work in peer production to formulate and test a series of hypotheses suggesting that the generativity of creative works is associated with moderate complexity, prominent authors,(More)
Theorists and advocates of “remixing” have suggested that appropriation can act as a pathway for learning. We test this theory quantitatively using data from more than 2.4 million multimedia programming projects shared by more than 1 million users in the Scratch online community. First, we show that users who remix more often have larger(More)
In this paper, we use evidence from a remixing community to evaluate two pieces of common wisdom about collaboration. First, we test the theory that jointly produced works tend to be of higher quality than individually authored products. Second, we test the theory that collaboration improves the quality of functional works like code, but that it works less(More)