Linguistic adoption in online citizen science: A structurational perspective

Corey Brian Jackson, Mahboobeh Harandi, Carsten Østerlund, Dhruv Kharwar, Kevin Crowston

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contribution

Abstract

For peer-production projects to be successful, members must develop a specific and universal language that enables them to cooperate. Complicating the development of language in some projects is the lack of formalized structures (e.g., roles) that communicate to members the norms and practices around language. We address the question of how do role differences among participants interact with the adoption and dissemination of new terminologies in open peer production communities? Answering this question is crucial because we want communities to be productive even when self-managed, which requires understanding how shared language emerges. We examine this question using a structurational lens in the setting of a citizen science project. Exploring the use of words in the Gravity Spy citizen science project, we find that many words are reused and that most new words that are introduced are not picked up, showing a reproduction of structure. However, some novel words are used by others, showing an evolution of the structure. Participants with roles closer to the science are more likely to have their words reused, showing the mutually reinforcing nature of structures of signification, legitimation, and domination.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publication40th International Conference on Information Systems, ICIS 2019
PublisherAssociation for Information Systems
ISBN (Electronic)9780996683197
StatePublished - 2020
Event40th International Conference on Information Systems, ICIS 2019 - Munich, Germany
Duration: Dec 15 2019Dec 18 2019

Publication series

Name40th International Conference on Information Systems, ICIS 2019

Conference

Conference40th International Conference on Information Systems, ICIS 2019
CountryGermany
CityMunich
Period12/15/1912/18/19

Keywords

  • Citizen science
  • Language use
  • Peer production
  • Roles
  • Structuration

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Computer Science Applications
  • Information Systems

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  • Cite this

    Jackson, C. B., Harandi, M., Østerlund, C., Kharwar, D., & Crowston, K. (2020). Linguistic adoption in online citizen science: A structurational perspective. In 40th International Conference on Information Systems, ICIS 2019 (40th International Conference on Information Systems, ICIS 2019). Association for Information Systems.