Newby GB, Greenberg J, Jones P "Open source software development and Lotka's Law: Bibliometric Patterns in Programming" Journal of the American Society for Information SCIENCE AND TECHNOLOGY 54 (2): 169-178 JAN 15 2003

Eugene Garfield garfield at CODEX.CIS.UPENN.EDU
Tue Mar 18 16:47:34 EST 2003

Greg B. Newby :  gbnewby at
Website :

Title   Open source software development and Lotka's Law: Bibliometric
        patterns in programming
Author  Newby GB, Greenberg J, Jones P
        SCIENCE AND TECHNOLOGY 54 (2): 169-178 JAN 15 2003

 Document type: Article    Language: English
 Cited References: 26      Times Cited: 0

This research applies Lotka's Law to metadata on open source software
development. Lotka's Law predicts the proportion of authors at different
levels of productivity. Open source software development harnesses the
creativity of thousands of programmers worldwide, is important to the
progress of the Internet and many other computing environments, and yet has
not been widely researched. We examine metadata from the Linux Software Map
(LSM), which documents many open source projects, and Sourceforge, one of
the largest resources for open source developers. Authoring patterns found
are comparable to prior studies of Lotka's Law for scientific and scholarly
publishing. Lotka's Law was found to be effective in understanding software
development productivity patterns, and offer promise in predicting aggregate
behavior of open source developers.

Newby GB, Univ N Carolina, 100 Manning Hall,CB 3360, Chapel Hill, NC 27599
Univ N Carolina, Chapel Hill, NC 27599 USA


IDS Number:


 Cited Author            Cited Work                Volume      Page   Year

                       DUBLIN CORE METADATA                            1999
 *IFLA STUD GROUP F    FUNCT REQ BIBL REC F                            1997
 AGRE P                COMPUTER MEDIATED CO           1         6      1994
 ALBITZ P              DNS BIND                                        2001
 AUERBACH F            GESCHICHTSTAFELN PHY                            1910
 COSTALLES B           SENDMAIL                                        1997
 CRONIN B              J INFORM SCI                  27         1      2001
 DEMPSEY B             COMMUN ACM                    44        45      2002
 DEMPSEY BJ            TR199905 UNC SILS                               1999
 DIBONA C              OPEN SOURCES VOICES                             1999
 EGGHE L               INFORM PROCESS MANAG          32       563      1996
 FANG PH               INFORMATION MANAGEME          31       133      1995
 FOUCAULT M            LANGUAGE COUNTER-MEM                   113      1977
 LOTKA AJ              J WASHINGTON ACADEMY          16       317      1926
 MOCKUS A              INT C SOFTW ENG                        263      2000
 NARIN F               ANNU REV INFORM SCI           12        35      1977
 NICHOLLS PT           INFORM PROCESS MANAG          22       417      1986
 PAO ML                INFORM PROCESS MANAG          21       305      1985
 PRITCHARD A           J DOC                         25       348      1969
 RAYMOND ES            CATHEDRAL BAZAAR                                2001
 ROGERS EM             DIFFUSION INNOVATION                            1983
 SCHORR AE             J AM SOC INFORM SCI           26       189      1975
 SCHORR AE             RES LIBRARIANSHIP             30       205      1975
 SENGUPTA IN           LIBRI                         42        75      1992
 VLACHY J              DISTRIBUTION PATTERN                            1974
 WHITE HD              ANNU REV INFORM SCI           24       119      1989

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Eugene Garfield, PhD.  email: garfield at
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Tel: 215-243-2205 Fax 215-387-1266
President, The Scientist LLC.
Chairman Emeritus, ISI
Past President, American Society for Information Science and Technology

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