The Impacts of Lockdown on Open Source Software Contributions during the COVID-19 Outbreak

Date
2022-01-04
Authors
Hu, Jin
Hu, Daning
Yang, Xuan
Chau, Michael
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We leverage the lockdown of Wuhan, China in January 2020 in response to COVID-19 as a natural experiment to study its impacts on individuals’ contributions to open source software (OSS) on GitHub – the world’s largest OSS platform. We find that Wuhan developers’ contributions decreased by 10.2% relative to those in Hong Kong, Macau, and Taiwan (HMT) regions in the five weeks after the lockdown. Moreover, the contributions of Wuhan developers who interacted more with local developers on GitHub were reduced more after the lockdown. We conjecture that the lack of face-to-face (F2F) collaboration for Wuhan developers is the main driver of their reduced contributions, providing important insights for OSS platforms and stakeholders.
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Collaboration for Data Science, contributions, covid-19, face-to-face collaboration, lockdown, public goods
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10 pages
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Proceedings of the 55th Hawaii International Conference on System Sciences
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Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International
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