Online Freelancing on Digital Labor Platforms: A Scoping Review

Research output: Chapter in Book/Entry/PoemConference contribution

2 Scopus citations


Online freelancing, a type of contingent work conducted via digital labor platforms, has attracted increasing attention from scholars in the CSCW and cognate communities in recent years. However, there is still a lack of comprehensive understanding in the research landscape regarding this phenomenon. To address this gap, we reviewed 86 papers published between 2017 and 2022 and presented the interim findings. The review followed a scoping method with a focus on three key aspects: research topics, conceptual framings, and methodological approaches. A thematic analysis reveals: 12 overarching research themes, with major focus placed on social inequality, freelancer wellbeing, and platformic management and control; 11 conceptual frameworks that primarily revolved around the worker, work, platform, and society; and qualitative methods emerged as the predominant approach in the methodological approach. Drawing from the preliminary findings, we present three implications for future research: (1) directing greater attention towards unexplored areas within the scholarship on online freelancing, (2) developing novel theoretical frameworks that are specifically tailored to the unique characteristics of platform-mediated freelance work, and (3) employing alternative research methods to holistically address the multifaceted nature of the online freelancing experience.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationCSCW 2023 Companion - Conference Companion Publication of the 2023 Computer Supported Cooperative Work and Social Computing
EditorsMorgan Ames, Susan Fussell, Eric Gilbert, Vera Liao, Xiaojuan Ma, Xinru Page, Mark Rouncefield, Vivek Singh, Pamela Wisniewski
PublisherAssociation for Computing Machinery
Number of pages8
ISBN (Electronic)9798400701290
StatePublished - Oct 14 2023
Event26th ACM Conference on Computer-Supported Cooperative Work and Social Computing, CSCW 2023 - Minneapolis, United States
Duration: Oct 14 2023Oct 18 2023

Publication series

NameProceedings of the ACM Conference on Computer Supported Cooperative Work, CSCW


Conference26th ACM Conference on Computer-Supported Cooperative Work and Social Computing, CSCW 2023
Country/TerritoryUnited States


  • Digital Labor Platform
  • Literature Review
  • Methodology
  • Online Freelancing

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Software
  • Computer Networks and Communications
  • Human-Computer Interaction


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