nep-ict New Economics Papers
on Information and Communication Technologies
Issue of 2009‒07‒28
three papers chosen by
Walter Frisch
University Vienna

  1. Coordination, Division of Labor, and Open Content Communities: Template Messages in Wiki-Based Collections. By Loris Gaio; Alessandro Rossi; Matthijs den Besten; Jean-Michel Dalle
  2. The Impact of Information Technology(IT) in Trade Facilitation on Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs) in Sri Lanka By Janaka Wijayasiri; Suwendrani Jayaratne
  3. Geodata By Tobia Lakes

  1. By: Loris Gaio; Alessandro Rossi; Matthijs den Besten; Jean-Michel Dalle
    Abstract: In this paper we investigate how in commons based peer production a large community of contributors coordinates its efforts towards the production of high quality open content. We carry out our empirical analysis at the level of articles and focus on the dynamics surrounding their production. That is, we focus on the continuous process of revision and update due to the spontaneous and largely uncoordinated sequence of contributions by a multiplicity of individuals. We argue that this loosely regulated process, according to which any user can make changes to any entry, while allowing highly creative contributions, has to come into terms with potential issues with respect to the quality and consistency of the output. In this respect, we focus on emergent, bottom up organizational practice arising within the Wikipedia community, namely the use of template messages, which seems to act as an effective and parsimonious coordination device in emphasizing quality concerns (in terms of accuracy, consistency, completeness, fragmentation, and so on) or in highlighting the existence of other particular issues which are to be addressed. We focus on the template "NPOV" which signals breaches on the fundamental policy of neutrality of Wikipedia articles and we show how and to what extent imposing such template on a page affects the production process and changes the nature and division of labor among participants. We find that intensity of editing increases immediately after the "NPOV" template appears. Moreover, articles that are treated most successfully, in the sense that "NPOV" disappears again relatively soon, are those articles which receive the attention of a limited group of editors. In this dimension at least the distribution of tasks in Wikipedia looks quite similar to what is know about the distribution in the FLOSS development process.
    Keywords: commons based peer production; wikipedia; wiki; survival analysis; quality; bug fixing; template messages; coordination
    JEL: L86
    Date: 2009–07
  2. By: Janaka Wijayasiri; Suwendrani Jayaratne (Institute of Policy Studies of Sri Lanka (IPS))
    Abstract: This paper examine the extent of automation of trade facilitation in Sri Lanka and to assess the impact of automation on SMEs in the country.
    Keywords: Impace of Information Techonology, SMEs, Sri Lanka
    JEL: F1
    Date: 2009–06
  3. By: Tobia Lakes
    Abstract: Empirical data can be characterized by a precise location in space and time. An estimated 80% of all data holds such a spatio-temporal reference and is termed geodata. This paper starts with the question: What is the additional benefit for socio-economic sciences using geodata and the spatial dimension respectively? In the following a multidimensional approach is chosen to outline the Status Quo of geodata and spatial techniques in Germany. It is particularly the continuously growing amount and the variety of available geodata which is stated. Data security is an issue of high importance when using geodata. Furthermore, the present developments in price and user concepts, accessibility, technical standards and institutionalisation are addressed. A number of challenges concerning the field of geodata are identified including the open access to geodata, data security issues and standardization. The main challenge however seems to be the exchange between the rather segregated fields of geoinformation and the information infrastructure. Furthermore, the census 2011 is identified as a major challenge for the acquisition and management of geodata. Geodata and spatial techniques are a rapidly developing field due to technology developments of data and methods as well as due to recently growing public interest. Their additional be efit for socioeconomic research should be exploited in the future.
    Keywords: geodata, geoinformation, Web-GIS, geodata-infrastructure, spatial techniques
    Date: 2009

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