CFP: Handbook of Research on Open Source Software (10/1/05; collection)

full name / name of organization: 
St-Amant, Kirk
contact email: 

Call for Chapters - Submission Deadline Oct. 1, 2005

Handbook of Research on Open Source Software: Technological, Economic, and Social Perspectives

Edited by Kirk St.Amant and Brian Still, Texas Tech University

The decision to purchase or to use a particular software product can be the choice that results in the success or the failure of an organization. For this reason, decision makers at different levels and in a variety of fields need to understand the factors that contribute to the effective adoption and use of software products. Open source software (OSS) is increasingly viewed as a viable option that can allow a variety or public and private organizations to achieve their desired goals. OSS adoption and use, however, is complicated by the social agendas and the economic goals many individuals attach to the use of OSS materials.

The Overall Objective of the Book
The purpose of this handbook is to provide readers with a foundational understanding of the origins, operating principles, legalities, social factors, and economic forces that affect the uses of OSS. For this reason, the proposed handbook would focus on areas and concepts essential to understanding when and how various organizations should adopt OSS. Chapters would present short (3,500-5,000 word), focused perspectives on a particular aspect of OSS adoption and/or use. Such perspectives would be designed to help businesspersons, researchers, and other decision makers make more informed choices that would facilitate the ease and effectiveness with which their organization used or interacted with OSS products.

The target audience for this handbook would be five groups that would use this text for a variety of reasons.
* Executives, manager, and administrators in business, government, and education, and academia
* Researchers investigating the history, uses, and perspectives (social and economic) related to OSS
* Librarians working for corporate, government, or educational organizations
* Graduate instructors and graduate students in MIS, MBA, and PhD programs
* Individuals in organizations that have adopted or are considering adopting OSS for certain activities

Prospective subject areas and specific topics for this publication include, but are not limited to, the following

History and Background of Open Source Software
* Presenting a history of the hacker: From MIT to today
* Discussing free software, Richard Stallman, and GNU: A history and a look at influences on OSS
* Overviewing the development of Linux (or history of development of other free software/OSS tools)
* Overviewing the history of OSS
* Annotated bibliography (bibliographies) of different online or print sources on OSS

OSS Culture and Practices: Definitions and Explanations
* Defining who the OSS developer/hacker is (motivations, influences, skills, demographics)
* Defining what OSS culture is
* Examining how OSS projects work: Explaining how they differ from proprietary projects
* Explaining differences in object code vs. source code

Comparisons and Evaluations of OSS to Other Products
* Discussing the strengths and weaknesses of OSS in comparison to Proprietary Software
* Reviewing OSS development model vs. proprietary software development model
* Comparing OSS developer to proprietary software developer
* Reviewing customer service, customer support and OSS
* Evaluating OSS content management systems (CMS): How do you know which one to choose?
* Examining desktop publishing: What OSS alternatives exist to Windows? Drawbacks? Future Trends?
* Examining OSS security systems

Business Cases and Applications of OSS
* Discussing what is needed to use OSS? Staffing requirements, on-site technical expertise, budget, etc.
* Examining how should OSS be evaluated-when do you know you should adopt or pass on OSS?
* Presenting case studies of OSS evaluation and adoption
* Overviewing the Apache Internet Server and its strong niche in the market
* Discussing profitable OSS business models: Case studies or other models successful OSS use
* Reporting on IBM and support of OSS
* Discussing how OSS threatens Microsoft, and/or how Microsoft responds to this threat
* Applying OSS business models outside of software in other industries: What examples already exist?
* Besides Linux, what other examples of OSS successes exist?

Licensing and Legalities Related to OSS
* Explaining GPL and Copyleft-the first license: define it, explain how it works, address controversy
* Overviewing and comparing the most popular OSS licenses
* Creative Commons, copyrighting documentation, non-software creative work
* Discussing which license to choose: What does the user need to know?
* Comparing OSS licensing to Proprietary Software Licensing
* Examining license proliferation: Why are there so many licenses and what problems can this cause?
* Exploring licensing choices: Benefits and limitations of OSS licenses
* Overviewing licensing and product development: What does the user need to know?
* Ripping multimedia: The Copyright Problems Related to OSS Use
* Privacy, Security, and Surveillance: Cryptography and Government Control
* Whose Code is it Anyway? The conflict between SCO and Linux
* Explaining intellectual property issues involving copyleft and the GPL, or of OSS in general

International Issues and Developments Related to OSS Use
* The EU's Adoption of OSS: A Model for the Future?
* Culture and Coding: Can We Create International Standards for OSS Use?
* Wiring the World: The Role of OSS in Shrinking the Global Digital Divide
* What nations are using OSS and why?
* International nature of OSS development (e.g., outsourcing, free trade, cultural barriers)
* Is Europe and other nations outside the US more OSS friendly? Why or why not?
* OSS and global democracy (tools like Camera/Shy and Peekabooty)
* Legislative acts, OSS, and the free sharing of information in other nations
* Case studies of OSS implementation overseas (i.e., governments, companies, or organizations)

Educational Applications of OSS
* Uses of OSS to enhance learning (i.e., Moodle, Drupal)
* Case studies of OSS alternatives used instead of proprietary software
* MIT and open courseware
* Claroline and the Packaging of Distance Education for Online Students
* Blogging as Educational Activity

Governmental and Other Public Sector Applications of OSS
* Examining OSS Use at the Federal and the Local Levels
* Getting the Word Out: Government Uses of OSS to Interact with Citizens
* The Security Factor: National Defense, OSS, and Terrorist Networks

Perspectives for the Future of OSS Use
* Shifting the Model: Will OSS Become a For-Profit Industry?
* Development Practices: How Will the Code Be Created?
* Culture and Code: Projections on OSS and Global Computer Use

Authors are invited to submit chapter proposals (one, single-spaced page maximum) on or before October 1, 2005. In their proposal, perspective authors should clearly explain
* The purpose and the contents of their proposed chapter
* How their proposed chapter relates to the overall objectives of the book

Authors will be notified of the status of their proposal and sent chapter organization guidelines by October 15, 2005. Drafts of chapters will be due by February 15, 2006.

Please send inquiries or submit material electronically (Rich Text files) to both editors at

This book is tentatively scheduled for publishing by Idea Group Reference (an imprint of Idea Group Inc.) <> in Spring 2007.

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Received on Mon Aug 22 2005 - 10:51:35 EDT