A special issue of International Journal of Electronic Democracy
Free- and open-source software (FOSS) has received growing attention in recent years from various perspectives. The thriving numbers behind open-source software (OSS) adoption and contribution have captured the attention of various researchers who have been trying to decipher the phenomenon of OSS, its relation to already-conducted research, and its implications for new research opportunities that effect democracy.
The current OSS landscape presents a very interesting picture. Although the idea behind OSS dates back to the 1960s and the Unix era in the 1980s, the official term was only coined in 1998. Since then, the OSS movement has evolved at a very fast pace.
Prime examples of successful OSS projects include operating systems (Linux, FreeBSD, OpenBSD, NetBSD), Web browsers (Firefox, Konqueror), graphical environments (KDE, Gnome), productivity applications (OpenOffice), programming languages and infrastructure (Apache, MySQL), and development tools (GNU toolchain, Eclipse). These widely-accepted OSS endeavours demonstrate that a wide range of OSS applications are available and present a viable and robust alternative to proprietary software solutions.
A great number of applications of free and open software for democracy are evident. The objective of the special issue is to communicate and disseminate recent research, ideas, sound propositions and success stories that demonstrate the power of open-source software to improve e-democracy. Its purpose is to demonstrate state-of-the art approaches of open-source software systems that have had successful application at the democracy/society level and to show how new, advanced, models and strategies can expand the frontiers in electronic democracy.
Topics include, but are not limited to, the following:
- Understanding the FOSS community as a democratic foundation
- Use of FOSS for e-democracy Systems
- Strategies for the deployment of FOSS tools in government
- Case studies
- Open-democracy systems
1-2 Page Abstract: 30 April 2007
Submission of Manuscripts: 15 October 2007
Notification to Authors: 15 November 2007
Final Versions Due: 15 February 2008