Boundary-spanning documents in online communities

Research output: Chapter in Book/Entry/PoemConference contribution

1 Scopus citations


Online communities bring together people with varied access to and understanding of the work at hand, who must collaborate through documents of various kinds. We develop a framework articulating the characteristics of documents supporting collaborators with asymmetric access to knowledge versus those with symmetric knowledge. Drawing on theories about document genre, boundary objects and provenance, we hypothesize that documents supporting asymmetric groups are likely to articulate or prescribe their own 1), purpose, 2), context of use, 3), content and form and 4), provenance in greater detail than documents used by people with symmetric access to knowledge. We are testing these hypotheses through content analysis of documents and instructions from a variety offree/libre open source projects. We present preliminary findings consistent with the hypotheses developed. The completed study will suggest new directions for research on communications in online communities, as well as advice for those supporting such communities.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationInternational Conference on Information Systems 2011, ICIS 2011
Number of pages10
StatePublished - 2011
Event32nd International Conference on Information System 2011, ICIS 2011 - Shanghai, China
Duration: Dec 4 2011Dec 7 2011

Publication series

NameInternational Conference on Information Systems 2011, ICIS 2011


Other32nd International Conference on Information System 2011, ICIS 2011


  • Boundary objects
  • Document genre
  • Documents
  • Online communities
  • Provenance

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Information Systems


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