Conference paper Open Access

The Diversity-Innovation Paradox in Open-Source Software

Yong, Mengchen Sam; Paganini, Lavínia; Qiu, Huilian Sophie; Santiago Calderón, José Bayoán

Prior studies have shown that, in open-source software (OSS), diversity is a positive indicator of productivity. Yet, code submissions from underrepresented groups are less successful. This mirrors the diversity-innovation paradox found in science—diverse groups produce more innovations, but historically underrepresented people have less successful careers in these groups. In this preliminary research, we want to investigate whether the effect of the diversity-innovation paradox is present in OSS. We define software innovation as a novel co-usage of two packages in the same project. Using World of Code, we identified JavaScript projects’ innovations from late 2008 to early 2014. We intend to calculate diversity measures for the authors who produced the innovations and build models to test the presence of the diversity-innovation paradox in OSS.

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