Document Type





open source software, OSS, teams, teamwork, software development


Library and Information Science


Open Source Software 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? Based on a social network analysis of interactions represented in 62,110 bug reports from 122 large and active projects, we find that some OSS teams are highly centralized, but contrary to expectation, others are not. Furthermore, we find that the level of centralization is negatively correlated with project size, suggesting that larger projects become more modular. The paper makes a further methodological contribution by identifying appropriate analysis approaches for interaction data. We conclude by sketching directions for future research.

Official Citation

Crowston, Kevin and Howison, James, "The social structure of Open Source Software development teams" (2003). Former Departments, Centers, Institutes and Projects. Paper 14.

Creative Commons License

Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 License.