|Limits of self-organization: peer production and "laws of quality"|
|Citation:||First Monday 11 (10): . 2006.|
|Publication type:||Journal article|
|Google Scholar cites:||Citations|
|Added by Wikilit team:||Added on initial load|
|Article:||Google Scholar BASE PubMed|
|Other scholarly wikis:||AcaWiki Brede Wiki WikiPapers|
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People often implicitly ascribe the quality of peer production projects such as Project Gutenberg or Wikipedia to what the author calls "laws"? of quality. These are drawn from open source software development and it is not clear how applicable they are outside the realm of software. In this article, the author looks at examples from peer production projects to ask whether faith in these laws does not so much guarantee quality as hide the need for improvement. The author concludes that, given the bulk of these projects (52 million tracks in the Gracenote database, 1 million entries on the English Wikipedia site, 17,000 books on Project Gutenberg), sampling for quality is both difficult and tendentious. Clearly, the author's is not a scientific survey. Nor was his intention simply to find flaws. Rather, the author used these examples to try, however inadequately, to raise questions about the transferability of open source quality assurance to other domains. The author's underlying argument is that the social processes of open source software production may transfer to other fields of peer production, but, with regard to quality, software production remains a special case.
"More useful answers might emerge by asking, “What is it about peer production processes that assures quality?” I argue that two “laws” of quality, also borrowed from Open Source programming, explicitly or implicitly back up quality claims for peer production. It is important to understand the applicability, the strengths, and the limits of these laws."
|Topics:||Antecedents of quality, Quality improvement processes|
|Research design:||Conceptual, Content analysis|
|Data source:||Wikipedia pages|
|Collected data time dimension:||Cross-sectional|
|Unit of analysis:||Article|
|Wikipedia data extraction:||Live Wikipedia|
|Wikipedia page type:||Article|
"Project Gutenberg and Wikipedia are tremendous achievements. That does not entitle them to a free pass. Both, because free, tend to get some of the condescending praise given a bake sale, where it’s deemed inappropriate to criticize the cakes that didn’t rise."