A Social Network Perspective on the Success of Open Source Software: The Case of R Packages

Zanella, Gianluca
Liu, Charles Z.
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In this paper, we seek to identify the factors that influence the impact of open source software (OSS) on users community through the analysis of the evolution of the OSS network. Based on longitudinal data collected from the comprehensive R archive network (CRAN), we empirically examine how the network of R packages evolves over time and exert its influence on the scientific community. We find that critical network features derived from CRAN, such as page-rank, closeness, and betweenness centralities, play a significant role in determining the impact of each package on the research and publication activities in the scientific community. Furthermore, the performance of R packages can be explained as a flow of information from the core to the periphery that exhibits strong spillover effects.
Distributed Collaboration in Organizations and Networks, open source networks, collaboration longitudinal analysis, knowledge transfer, netwrok evolution
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