The current state of library open source software research: A descriptive literature review and classification

Aaron Palmer, Namjoo Choi

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

13 Scopus citations


Purpose: The purpose of this study is to assess the current state of research on open source software (OSS) in the library context. Design/methodology/approach: This study employs a descriptive literature review. It categorizes library OSS research according to a classification scheme developed for the study, and analyzes the research based on year published, publication outlet, type of software discussed, type of article, type of library, and article topic. Findings: The authors found significant research attention devoted to open source repository applications, online public access catalog (OPAC) software, and integrated library systems (ILS). The majority of article types employed were case studies and discussion pieces. When articles were focused on a specific library, it was dominantly an academic library. Article topics centered around OSS adoption, development, provision of foundational or introductory information, and OSS performance. Originality/value: The authors are not aware of any other study that surveys and synthesizes the literature on OSS in the library context. Not only does this study provide a reference source and classification scheme for those conducting future research in this area to utilize, but it also identifies areas in this field that have received the most research attention, as well as areas that could benefit from future studies. This study will prove helpful to scholars looking for directions to take their research.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)11-27
Number of pages17
JournalLibrary Hi Tech
Issue number1
StatePublished - Mar 2014


  • Descriptive literature review
  • Libraries
  • Open source software

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Information Systems
  • Library and Information Sciences


Dive into the research topics of 'The current state of library open source software research: A descriptive literature review and classification'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this