Schweik, Charles M.
324 Holdsworth Hall
My research focus is on public sector information technology, environmental management and policy, and the intersection of these domains.
More specifically, I am a social scientist working to understand Internet-based collective action and online commons-based peer production. Over the last decade, my research has focused largely on the study of open-source software communities, and the socio-technical systems and governance structures that support these systems of co-production. My book — now freely available in pdf form!!! — Internet Success: A Study of Open Source Software Commons (MIT Press, 2012; click link to download) analyzed more than 170,000 such projects, in an effort to explain what leads some to ongoing collaborative success and many others to early abandonment. With this grounding in open source collaboration complete, my current list of projects (below) are expanding into other online peer-production settings that, in some way mimic or borrow collaborative principles from open source software.
- Peer-to-Peer Information Sharing via Outernet and World Possible’s RACHEL Pi. In this project, the UMass Scholarly Communications office in the Du Bois library, my team of UMass graduate and undergraduate students and I are communicating with rural libraries in Malawi via Twitter and are searching for information they want. Once we find the open access information (e.g., pdfs, videos, etc., all under Creative Commons licenses), we distribute it to them via the Outernet satellite distribution system, or through the WorldPossible RACHEL database on a Raspberry Pi. At the time of this writing, we are the first in the world to be doing this.
- Commons-based peer production in environmental management. Here my main focus has been on citizen science and engagement in the battle to control so-called “early detection, rapid response” invasive species. For more, see the
Outsmart Invasive Species project;
- ConservationMagazine write up on our study
- Commons-based peer production in geospatial science education. Here, I have focused effort around the international collective-action in the context of open source geospatial analysis. I am one of the co-founders of an international effort we call GeoForAll.org. This effort has (as of August, 2014) 84 nodes all over the world, including the Geospatial Research and Education Workshop at UMass Amherst.
- Commons-based peer production and open science focusing around low-cost or open source engineered scientific equipment and the social mechanisms to collect and validate data they produce. Locally, I am a co-founder of the town-gown makerspace we call “Makers at Amherst Media.”
- The broader study of Commons-based Peer Production” and “Knowledge Commons.” What are Knowledge Commons? See the video I wrote with colleagues, co-produced with the International Association of the Study of Commons. I am a co-founder of the international research group called the “Workshop on Governing Knowledge Commons” and coordinate a local group at UMass Amherst. I co-organized a Knowledge Commons conference at NYU (September 2014).
Courses regularly taught
- Introduction to Geographic Information Systems (NRC592G/PPA697B; Fall semesters)
- Natural Resource Policy and Administration (NRC409; Spring semesters)
- Information Technology in the Public and Nonprofit Sectors (PPA631/ECO697I; Spring semesters)
- Workshop in the Study of Commons-based Peer Production (Honors 391a; Fall semesters)
- Open Source Science Makerspace class (NRC497MS/697MS and PPA497MS/697MS; Fall 2015, 2016)
- Makerspace Leadership and Outreach (PPA597M; Spring 2017)
- Community Service with Web-based Geographic Information Science and Technology (Spring 2016)
- New Course! Applications in Unmanned Aerial Systems (co-taught with Ryan Wicks) (Spring 2017)
- Work in Progress: Exploring the Role of Makerspaces and Flipped Learning in a Town-Gown Effort to Engage K12 Students in STEAM
This paper describes our efforts to build a university-community or 'town-gown' effort around educational outreach in the context of open source 'making'.
- Applications in Do-It-Together, Environmental Monitoring Technologies – Student Projects from an Interdisciplinary, Flipped, Service Learning, Makerspace Course.
This paper describes our efforts to create a new, flipped, team-based learning course around the development and use of open source environmental monitoring hardware.
- Toward the Comparison of Open Source Commons Institutions
- Knowledge Commons introductory video
Commons are forms of governance and governance strategies for resources created and owned collectively. Knowledge commons governance is likely to be key to successfully addressing important social iss …
- Introduction to Geographic Information Science using ArcGIS V10
- Preliminary Steps Toward a General Theory of Internet-Based Collective-Action in Digital Information Commons: Findings from a Study of Open Source Software Projects
This paper presents some of the findings from a 5-year empirical study of FOSS (free/libre and open source software) commons, completed in 2011. FOSS projects are Internet-based common property regime …
- Proceedings of the OSS 2012 Doctoral Consortium
Papers accepted (and revised) by doctoral students who participated in the Open Source Systems (OSS) 2012 Doctoral Consortium, Hammamet, Tunisia
- Introduction to Geographic Science Using ArcGIS V10
This is a lab exercise manual with extra supplemental exercises for use in an introductory course in GIS for students in environmental conservation programs or studying public policy public administra …
- Internet Success: A Study of Open Source Software Commons
Analyzes more than 170,000 such projects, in an effort to explain what leads some free/libre and open source software projects to ongoing collaborative success and many others to early abandonment.
- Introduction to Geographic Information Systems using ArcGIS v10
A lab exercise manual used in an Introduction to Geographic Information Systems class designed for undergraduates or graduate students. Material takes students though the fundamentals using ArcGIS v10 …
- Toward Open Public Administration Scholarship
This essay focuses on the potential of information communication technologies to move the Public Administration (PA) scholarly community into a new information paradigm. We begin with a review of conv …
- Proceedings of the OSS 2011 Doctoral Consortium
Proceedings of the Open Source Systems 2011 Doctoral Consortium that was co-located with the 7th International Conference on Open Source Systems (OSS 2011), October 5th, 2011 in Salvador Brazil. http: …
- Applying Elinor Ostrom's Rule Classification Framework to the Analysis of Open Source Software Commons
This research investigates the utility of Ostrom and Crawford’s rule classification framework (elaborated in Understanding Institutional Diversity) in the systematic study of rule systems in a set of …
- Success and Abandonment in Open Source Commons: Selected Findings from an Empirical Study of Sourceforge.net Projects
Some open source software collaborations are sustained over long periods of time and across several versions of a software product, while others become abandoned even before the first version of the p …
- Open-Source Collaboration: Two Cases in the U.S. Public Sector
Globally, there is an emergence of open source consortia focused on the sharing of resources and code, and a desire to promote an open source approach generally. In this paper, we describe our finding …
Selected Recent Publications
Page updated: March 17, 2017