Paper 217 (Research track)

What does an Ontology Engineering Community look like? A Systematic Analysis of the Schema.org Community

Author(s): Samantha Kanza, Alex Stolz, Martin Hepp, Elena Simperl

Abstract: We present a systematic analysis of participation and interactions within the community behind schema.org, one of the largest and most relevant ontology engineering projects in recent times. Previous work conducted in this space has focused on ontology collaboration tools, and the roles that different contributors play within these projects. This paper takes a broader view and looks at the entire life cycle of the collaborative process to gain insights into how new functionality is proposed and accepted, and how contributors engage with one another. The analysis resulted in several findings. First, the collaborative ontology engineering roles identified in previous studies with a much stronger link to ontology editors apply to community interaction contexts as well. In the same time, the participation inequality is less pronounced than the 90-9-1 rule for Internet communities. In addition, schema.org seems to facilitate a form of collaboration that is friendly towards newcomers, whose concerns receive as much attention from the community as those of their longer-serving peers.

Keywords: collaborative ontology engineering; github; schema.org; community analysis; mixed methods

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