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Combining Online Research and Participant Observation in a Study of Free Software

Alleyne, Brian. 2018. Combining Online Research and Participant Observation in a Study of Free Software. Other. SAGE, London. [Report]

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Abstract or Description

This case study is based on ethnographic work I carried out on a free and open source
software project. My observation and participation as a user of the software informed the work
that was central to the case, as did my online observation. I also analyzed a series of interviews
of software developers that had been conducted by a member of the software project, which
were published on the project's website. My work combined online ethnography with traditional
participant observation. There is a great deal written on the methodologies of both online
ethnography and participant observation: what is distinctive about this case study is that it
shows how to use both approaches. The case study stresses specific steps, ranging from
formulating research questions, through data gathering online and in person, and analysis and
writing up. The case study offers advice on software tools that are helpful for mixed-mode
online/in-person ethnography.

Item Type:

Report (Other)

Identification Number (DOI):

https://doi.org/10.4135/9781526446558

Additional Information:

SAGE Research Methods

Departments, Centres and Research Units:

Sociology

Date:

14 February 2018

Item ID:

22772

Date Deposited:

16 Jan 2018 16:10

Last Modified:

20 Jul 2018 04:33

URI:

http://research.gold.ac.uk/id/eprint/22772

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