UK Data Service data catalogue record for:

Drupal Planet links archive, 29-05-2013 - 23-11-2016

Title details

SN: 852904
Title: Drupal Planet links archive, 29-05-2013 - 23-11-2016
Persistent identifier: 10.5255/UKDA-SN-852904
Depositor: David Rozas, University of Surrey
Principal investigator(s): Rozas, D, University of Surrey
Sponsor(s): P2Pvalue
European Comission
Grant number: FP7-ICT-2013-10 610961


The citation for this study is:

Rozas, D. (2018). Drupal Planet links archive, 29-05-2013 - 23-11-2016. [data collection]. UK Data Service. SN: 852904,

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Subject Categories

Science and technology


Abstract copyright data collection owner.

Database of links to posts published under Drupal Planet, a popular RSS feed within the Drupal community, whose contents are curated by Drupalistas according to certain guidelines. The database excludes press releases, job announcements and technical posts with little content relevant to Drupal. This archive has been designed for researching purposes for the PhD thesis: "Drupal as a Commons-Based Peer Production community: an ethnographic perspective". Since posts at Drupal Planet are only retained for 16 weeks, a set of software scripts was developed to collect and archive links to posts automatically from 29 May 2013 to 23 November 2016. This yielded an archive of 8,613 documents for documentary analysis as part of the relevant to the PhD study.

Commons-Based Peer Production (CBPP) is a new model of socio-economic production in which groups of individuals cooperate with each other without a traditional hierarchical organisation to produce common and public goods, such as Wikipedia or GNU/Linux. There is a need to understand how these communities govern and organise themselves as they grow in size and complexity. Following an ethnographic approach, this thesis explores the emergence of and changes in the organisational structures and processes of Drupal: a large and global CBBP community which, over the past fifteen years, has coordinated the work of hundreds of thousands of participants to develop a technology which currently powers more than 2% of websites worldwide. Firstly, this thesis questions and studies the notion of contribution in CBPP communities, arguing that contribution should be understood as a set of meanings which are under constant negotiation between the participants according to their own internal logics of value. Following a constructivist approach, it shows the relevance played by less visible contribution activities such as the organisation of events. Secondly, this thesis explores the emergence and inner workings of the socio-technical systems which surround contributions related to the development of projects and the organisation of events. Two intertwined organisational dynamics were identified: formalisation in the organisational processes and decentralisation in decision-making. Finally, this thesis brings together the empirical data from this exploration of socio-technical systems with previous literature on self-organisation and organisation studies, to offer an account of how the organisational changes resulted in the emergence of a polycentric model of governance, in which different forms of organisation varying in their degree of organicity co-exist and influence each other.

Coverage, universe, methodology

Time period: 29 May 2013 - 23 November 2016
Country: World Wide
Observation units: Other
Kind of data: Textual
Method of data collection: Two data collection strategies were employed: (1) A PHP script which periodically includes the new posts from Drupal Planet. This script was first run on 30/12/2014. From that date (including the previous 30 posts), the list should be exhaustive as far as no errors might have provoked the server to go down. (2) A Python script to recover the blog posts fetched via the RSS reader of Thunderbird. The source were a set of .eml files parsed and included into the database. These came from several machines and were merged. However, some of the blog posts might not have been gathered (e.g.: if the e-mail client was not run for a while). Therefore, the list regarding the previous period might not be so exhaustive and some of the posts might have gotten lost. The online version of the archive (see Related resources) continues to add further links; currently numbering 11,724 post links. The source code of the scripts is available on GitHub under a GPLv3 license. CSS adapted from captain Anonymous.

Administrative and access information

Date of release:
First edition: 07 June 2018
Latest edition: 07 June 2018 (minor amendments only)
Copyright: David Rozas, University of Surrey
Access conditions: The Data Collection is available to any user without the requirement for registration for download/access.
Availability: UK Data Service
Contact: David Rozas, University of Surrey


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