James Howison's research while affiliated with University of Texas at Austin and other places

Publications (102)

Article
In this paper, we investigate progress toward improved software citation by examining current software citation practices. We first introduce our machine learning based data pipeline that extracts software mentions from the CORD-19 corpus, a regularly updated collection of more than 280,000 scholarly articles on COVID-19 and related historical coro...
Article
Software contributions to academic research are relatively invisible, especially to the formalized scholarly reputation system based on bibliometrics. In this article, we introduce a gold‐standard dataset of software mentions from the manual annotation of 4,971 academic PDFs in biomedicine and economics. The dataset is intended to be used for autom...
Preprint
Full-text available
Software is increasingly produced in the form of ecosystems, collections of interdependent components maintained by a distributed community. These ecosystems act as network organizations, not markets, and thus often lack actionable price-like signals about how the software is used and what impact it has. We introduce a tool, the Scientific Software...
Article
Full-text available
Background : Software is now ubiquitous within research. In addition to the general challenges common to all software development projects, research software must also represent, manipulate, and provide data for complex theoretical constructs. Ensuring this process of theory-software translation is robust is essential to maintaining the integrity o...
Chapter
Science is moving increasingly to team collaboration at distance (Olson et al. Scientific collaboration on the internet. 2008; Olson and Olson. Synt Lect Hum Center Inform 6:1–151, 2013), or “virtual collaboration” (Jarvenpaa et al. J Manag Inform Syst 14:29–64, 1998). Organization science has studied virtual collaboration and can provide a variety...
Preprint
Full-text available
The Theory-Software Translation Workshop, held in New Orleans in February 2019, explored in depth the process of both instantiating theory in software - for example, implementing a mathematical model in code as part of a simulation - and using the outputs of software - such as the behavior of a simulation - to advance knowledge. As computation with...
Conference Paper
Cyberinfrastructure (CI) personnel are critical to next-generation scientific research. Although funding agencies and universities increasingly realize this, enabling resources do not grow as fast as the need for the CI skills and capabilities. There are two main issues with respect to CI personnel: CI personnel are scarce and cyberinfrastructure i...
Article
As the demand for data science and data‐intensive capabilities grows in all sectors, educators in schools of information and library and information science are working to deepen and expand their programs to meet workforce expectations. This panel will examine current trends and investments in data education and professionalization, with an emphasi...
Poster
Recognizing that current curricula address but a sliver of the wide range of careers pursued by information studies graduates, a team worked collaboratively to design a syllabus for a graduate course dedicated to exploring the societal frames and characteristics of information work. Ultimately comprising 10 modules, the syllabus centers students' a...
Article
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This technical report records and discusses the Second Workshop on Sustainable Software for Science: Practice and Experiences (WSSSPE2). The report includes a description of the alternative, experimental submission and review process, two workshop keynote presentations, a series of lightning talks, a discussion on sustainability, and five discussio...
Conference Paper
Full-text available
Software is fundamental to academic research work, both as part of the method and as the result of research. In June 2016 25 people gathered at Schloss Dagstuhl for a week-long Perspectives Workshop and began to develop a manifesto which places emphasis on the scholarly value of academic software and on personal responsibility. Twenty pledges cover...
Article
Full-text available
The vast majority of literature on coordination in team-based projects has drawn on a conceptual separation between explicit (e.g. plans, feedback) and implicit coordination mechanisms (e.g. mental maps, shared knowledge). This analytic distinction presents some limitations in explaining how coordination is reached in organizations characterized by...
Article
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Software is increasingly important to the scientific enterprise, and science-funding agencies are increasingly funding software work. Accordingly, many different participants need insight into how to understand the relationship between software, its development, its use, and its scientific impact. In this article, we draw on interviews and particip...
Article
Software is increasingly crucial to scholarship, yet the visibility and usefulness of software in the scientific record are in question. Just as with data, the visibility of software in publications is related to incentives to share software in reusable ways, and so promote efficient science. In this article, we examine software in publications thr...
Article
Online-community management is commonly presented as the facilitation of conversation and contributions, especially converting readers to contributors. However, the goal of many discussion communities is to produce a high-quality knowledge resource, whether to improve external task performance or to increase reputation and site traffic. What do mod...
Conference Paper
Professional software practices increasingly involve software sharing and collaborative development of software. As science becomes an increasingly collaborative enterprise, is there any increasing need for collaborative software practices? We collected data from geoscientists in early career stages with diverse research areas. Although they had va...
Article
Full-text available
Challenges related to development, deployment, and maintenance of reusable software for science are becoming a growing concern. Many scientists' research increasingly depends on the quality and availability of software upon which their works are built. To highlight some of these issues and share experiences, the First Workshop on Sustainable Softwa...
Article
Full-text available
Challenges related to development, deployment, and maintenance of reusable software for science are becoming a growing concern. Many scientists' research increasingly depends on the quality and availability of software upon which their works are built. To highlight some of these issues and share experiences, the First Workshop on Sustainable Softwa...
Article
“Cyberinfrastructure” or CI as used in this paper describes the digital infrastructure for scientific endeavor. It is at the heart of changing practices in science. The impact of CI spans energy, finance, health, humanities, information, environment, security, transportation, and other core aspects of the human condition. Many defining technologies...
Article
This paper develops and illustrates the theory of collaboration through open superposition: the process of depositing motivationally independent layers of work on top of each other over time. The theory is developed in a study of community-based free and open source software (FLOSS) development, through a research arc of discovery (participant obse...
Conference Paper
Full-text available
This one-day workshop aims to stimulate research on the sharing and reuse of scientific resources in cooperative scientific work. As science trends toward increasing geographic and temporal scales, larger collaborations, and greater interdisciplinarity, scientific resources increasingly need to be more mobile and integrated with computer supported...
Article
Modularity has been seen as key to the success of OSS projects. However empirical studies on modularity of OSS systems have resulted in confusing results. To account for underlying mechanisms of those confusing results, we systematically examine widely studied OSS projects. Based on our systematic review on technical and organizational structures,...
Conference Paper
Models including network effects are often invoked to justify the high value of social network services like Facebook. Yet as time passes and user numbers grow, inevitably so does reach across social circles, creating "online tension" or, as we term it, mismatch of social display. This leads to reduced participation. Social network services respond...
Conference Paper
Science policy makers are looking for approaches to increase the extent of collaboration in the production of scientific software, looking to open collaborations in open source software for inspiration. We examine the software ecosystem surrounding BLAST, a key bioinformatics tool, identifying outside improvements and interviewing their authors. We...
Article
This report describes the results of a workshop held in Cleveland, Ohio in May of 2012 that brought organization scientists together with Virtual Organization (VO) leaders to address the challenges facing managers of VOs, identify key insights from research on VOs, and determine whether it is possible to build a sustainable community among organiza...
Article
Full-text available
Since the initial publication in 1994, Coordination Theory (Malone and Crowston, 1994) has been referenced in nearly 300 journal articles, book chapters, conference papers and theses. This chapter will analyze the contribution of this body of research to determine how Coordination Theory has been used for user task analysis and modelling for HCI. I...
Article
We present the following findings to a panel of CI center executives, senior organizational scholars, and CI policymakers in an NSF-sponsored “Managing CI Centers” workshop, and asked them to critically scrutinize and comment on these findings.(1) CI Centers as Cyberinfrastructure “Stewards”: To date, the bulk of studies into organizing around cybe...
Article
This dissertation presents evidence that the production of Free and Open Source Software (FLOSS) is far more alone than together; it is far more often individual work done "in company" than it is teamwork. When tasks appear too large for an individual they are more likely to be deferred until they are easier rather than be undertaken through teamwo...
Article
This abstract presents a case study of the potential application of eScience tools and practices for the social science research community studying Free/Libre Open Source Software (FLOSS) development practices. We first describe the practice of research on FLOSS to motivate the need for eScience. After outlining suitable public data sources, we des...
Conference Paper
Full-text available
How do distributed, loosely connected software developers coordinate? That is, how do they understand and manage the dependencies between their work and the work of others? We contribute to this important and frequently studied area by developing a theoretical perspective that brings together insights from implicit and stigmergic perspectives on co...
Article
We review the empirical research on Free/Libre and Open-Source Software (FLOSS) development and assess the state of the literature. We develop a framework for organizing the literature based on the input-mediator-output-input (IMOI) model from the small groups literature. We present a quantitative summary of articles selected for the review and the...
Article
Full-text available
This paper discusses the value of software instrumentation in architecting the runtime behavior of complex, socio-technical ecosystems. Our solution is targeted at gathering metrics from scientific software communities in order to better understand them. We hope that by gathering information, such as usage frequency, operating systems in use, and e...
Article
There is an exciting natural match between social network analysis methods and the growth of data sources produced by social interactions via information technologies, from online communities to corporate information systems. Information Systems researchers have not been slow to embrace this combination of method and data. Such systems increasingly...
Conference Paper
Full-text available
This panel seeks to begin a discussion of how we can meaningfully compare and contrast between the diverse instances of open collaboration and peer production employed on the Internet today. Current research on the topic have tended to be too platform - (e.g. Wikipedia) or domain - (e.g. Open source) specific. The panelists will be tasked with addr...
Conference Paper
Full-text available
Software plays an increasingly critical role in science, including data analysis, simulations, and managing workflows. Unlike other technologies supporting science, software can be copied and distributed at essentially no cost, potentially opening the door to unprecedented levels of sharing and collaborative innovation. Yet we do not have a clear p...
Article
There is a natural match between studies of online communities and social network analysis (SNA). Information Systems research, in particular, has drawn heavily on the growing data sources available as a by-product of increased online social interaction, conducting social network analyses with this "trace data". However, this type of data has prope...
Article
0000–0000/00$00.00 c 200X IEEE 1 The under-appreciated role of stigmergic coordination in software development Abstract—Coordination in software development teams has been a topic of perennial interest in empirical software engineering research. The vast majority of this literature has drawn on a conceptual sepa-ration between work and coordination...
Conference Paper
Online work projects, from open source to wikipedia, have emerged as an important phenomenon. These communities offer exciting opportunities to investigate social processes because they leave traces of their activity over time. We argue that the rapid visibility of others' work afforded by the information systems used by these projects reaches out...
Conference Paper
We apply social network analysis (SNA) to examine the dynamics of leadership in distributed groups, specifically Free/Libre Open Source Software development projects, and its relation to group performance. Based on prior work on leadership in distributed groups, we identify leaders with those who make the highest level of contribution to the group...
Conference Paper
This paper presents a novel method and algorithm to measure the size of an open source project's user base and the level of potential user interest that it generates. Previously unavailable download data at a daily resolution confirms hypothesized patterns related to release cycles. In short, regular users rapidly down- load the software after a ne...
Chapter
This article introduces and expands on previous work on a collaborative project, called FLOSSmole (formerly OSSmole), designed to gather, share, and store comparable data and analyses of free, libre, and open source software (FLOSS) development for academic research. The project draws on the ongoing collection and analysis efforts of many research...
Chapter
This paper introduces and expands on previous work on a collaborative project, called FLOSSmole (formerly OSSmole), designed to gather, share and store comparable data and analyses of free, libre, and open source software (FLOSS) development for academic research. The project draws on the ongoing collection and analysis efforts of many research gro...
Article
The idea of congruence between the structure of techni-cal and work dependencies has been demonstrated in com-mercial software development but has not been explored in detail in free and open source software (FLOSS) develop-ment. Previous work identified 103 task episodes, selected from two FLOSS projects, and found that 83 were per-formed by singl...
Chapter
This article introduces and expands on previous work on a collaborative project, called FLOSSmole (formerly OSSmole), designed to gather, share, and store comparable data and analyses of free, libre, and open source software (FLOSS) development for academic research. The project draws on the ongoing collection and analysis efforts of many research...
Conference Paper
This paper introduces eResearch workflow tools as a model for the research community studying free and open source software and its development. The paper first introduces eResearch as increasingly practiced in fields such as astrophysics and biology, then contrasts the practice of research on free and open source software. After outlining suitable...
Conference Paper
This paper extends prior investigation into the social dynamics of free and open source (FLOSS) teams by examining the methodological questions arising from research using social network analysis on open source projects. We evaluate the validity of data sampling by examining dynamics of communication centralization, which vary across multiple commu...
Article
Full-text available
This article introduces and expands on previous work on a collaborative project, called FLOSSmole (formerly OSSmole), designed to gather, share, and store comparable data and analyses of free, libre, and open source software (FLOSS) development for academic research. The project draws on the ongoing collection and analysis efforts of many research...
Article
Are geographically-distributed teams which exhibit high levels of group maintenance between members successful? We answer this through content analysis of emails from two Free/Libre Open Source Software (FLOSS) teams. Our results illustrate that the groups utilize low levels of organizational citizenship behaviors and high levels of positive polite...
Article
New organizations supported by information and communications technologies, such as open source software development and Wikipedia, have recently emerged with great and somewhat surprising success. These organizations are emergent, self-organizing and appear able to change and adapt as success breeds new challenges, all without undermining the crea...
Article
Full-text available
FLOSSmole is a collaborative data repository which collects and provides data for research on Free/Libre Open Source Software (FLOSS) and its development by online, distributed teams. The data is used by a research community that studies diverse questions from the evolution of software to how these groups make decisions, use various media and man-...
Conference Paper
Full-text available
This paper investigates decision making in self-organizing technology-mediated distributed teams. This context provides an opportunity to examine how the use of technological support to span temporal and organizational discontinuities affects decision-making processes. 258 software-modification decision episodes were collected from the public email...
Article
Full-text available
We examine the role of face-to-face meetings in the context of technology-supported self-organizing distributed (or virtual teams), specifically free/libre open source software (FLOSS) development teams. Based on a qualitative inductive analysis of data from interviews and observations at FLOSS conferences, we identify a variety of settings in whic...
Conference Paper
In 2006 the author undertook to take what I'd learnt from the research on Free, Libre and Open Source Software (FLOSS) both to 'the community' and to those interested in joining 'the community'. I prepared and presented two 3.5 hour tutorials at FLOSS conferences: LinuxAsia in Delhi and O'Reilly's Open Source Conference (OSCON) in Portland. This pa...
Conference Paper
Full-text available
We seek to identify work practices that make Free/Libre Open Source Software (FLOSS) development teams effective. Particularly important to team effectiveness is decision making. In this paper, we report on an inductive qualitative analysis of 360 decision episodes of six FLOSS development teams. Our analysis revealed diversity in decision-making p...
Article
Full-text available
This paper provides empirical evidence about how free/libre open source software development teams self-organize their work, specifically, how tasks are assigned to project team members. Following a case study methodology, we examined developer interaction data from three active and successful FLOSS projects using qualitative research methods, spec...
Chapter
The evolution of computing is characterized by decentralization and decreasing institutional control over resources. Wireless Grids, that is, fixed and mobile ad-hoc resource sharing networks, are challenging environments in which users strategic behaviors are crucial to system performance. We review the mechanisms employed to regulate strategic be...
Article
Free/Libre Open Source Software (FLOSS) development teams provide an interesting and convenient setting for studying distributed work. We begin by answering perhaps the most basic question: what is the social structure of these teams? We conducted social network analyses of bug-fixing interactions from three repositories: Sourceforge, GNU Savannah...
Conference Paper
Full-text available
This paper furthers inquiry into the social structure of free and open source software (FLOSS) teams by undertaking social network analysis across time. Contrary to expectations, we confirmed earlier findings of a wide distribution of centralizations even when examining the networks over time. The paper also provides empirical evidence that while c...
Article
Before contributing to a free or open source software project, understand the developers, leaders, and active users behind it. The computing world lauds many Free/Libre and open source software offerings for both their reliability and features. Successful projects such as the Apache httpd Web server and Linux operating system kernel have made FLOSS...
Article
Information systems success is one of the most widely used dependent variables in information systems (IS) research, but research on free/libre and open source software (FLOSS) often fails to appropriately conceptualize this important concept. In this article, we reconsider what success means within a FLOSS context. We first review existing models...
Conference Paper
Full-text available
The concept of the core group of developers is important and often discussed in empirical studies of FLOSS projects. This paper examines the question, "how does one empirically distinguish the core?" Being able to identify the core members of a FLOSS development project is important because many of the processes necessary for successful projects li...
Article
Full-text available
This paper introduces a collaborative project, "OS- Smole", designed to gather, share and store comparable data and analyses of free and open source software development for academic research. The project draws on the ongoing collection and analysis efforts of many research groups, reducing duplica- tion, and promoting compatibility both across sou...
Conference Paper
Full-text available
We seek to identify work practices that make technology-supported self-organizing distributed (or virtual) teams (TSSODT for short) effective in producing outputs satisfactory to their sponsors, meeting the needs of their members and continuing to function. A particularly important practice for team effectiveness is decision making: are the right d...
Conference Paper
Full-text available
This paper introduces a collaborative project OSSmole which collects, shares, and stores comparable data and analyses of free, libre and open source software (FLOSS) development for research purposes. The project is a clearinghouse for data from the ongoing collection and analysis efforts of many disparate research groups. A collaborative data repo...
Article
Full-text available
This paper introduces a collaborative project OSSmole which collects, shares, and stores comparable data and analyses of free, libre and open source software (FLOSS) development for research purposes. The project is a clearinghouse for data from the ongoing collection and analysis efforts of many disparate research groups. A collaborative data repo...
Article
Metaphors, such as the Cathedral and Bazaar, used to describe the organization of FLOSS projects typically place them in sharp contrast to proprietary development by emphasizing FLOSS’s distinctive social and communications structures. But what do we really know about the communication patterns of FLOSS projects? How generalizable are the projects...
Article
Metaphors, such as the Cathedral and Bazaar, used to describe the organization of FLOSS projects typically place them in sharp contrast to proprietary development by emphasizing FLOSS’s distinctive social and communications structures. But what do we really know about the communication patterns of FLOSS projects? How generalizable are the projects...
Article
This paper considers the deceptively simple question: Why can"t digital images be managed in the simple and effective manner in which digital music files are managed? We make the case that the answer is different treatments of metadata in different domains with different goals. A central difference between the two formats stems from the fact that d...
Article
Information systems success is one of the most widely used dependent variables ininformation systems research, but research on Free/Libr and Open Source software (FLOSS)often fails to appropriately conceptualize this important concept. In this paper, we reconsiderwhat success means within a FLOSS context. We first review existing models of IS succe...
Article
We explore the role of face-to-face meetings in the life of distributed teams using data from Free/Libre Open Source Software (FLOSS) development teams. Such distributed teams are part of many organizations' new vision of management in the 21st century. Practitioner research has suggested the need for face-to-face meetings when a team is formed, bu...
Article
Full-text available
The apparent success of free/libre open source software (FLOSS) development projects such as Linux, Apache, and many others has raised the question, what lessons from FLOSS development can be transferred to mainstream software development? In this paper, we use coordination theory to analyze coordination mechanisms in FLOSS development and compare...