Episode 5

Jana Gallus and the Power of Public: Recognition and Reputation as Drivers of Open Source Success.


November 15th, 2021

36 mins 18 secs

Your Host
Special Guest

About this Episode


Jana Gallus

Show Notes

Hello and welcome to the Digital Infrastructure Fund podcast! This is the podcast where we are discussing what is digital infrastructure and we explicitly focus on people who have been given grants from the Digital Infrastructure Fund. This fund is dedicated towards helping researchers understand what is digital infrastructure is, how can we understand it more, and how can we empower people to support it for the long term? I am very excited to have as my guest today, Jana Gallus, who is an Associate Professor, with tenure, at UCLA. She was the recipient of a grant called, The Power of Public: Recognition and Reputation as Drivers of Open Source Success. Our focus today is to talk about what Jana does outside of this grant, since Jana has a long and illustrious research career that is focused on many things, all of them figuring out what does money mean, what does social recognition mean, and how do you build open source projects effectively in a way that helps the community and project thrive together. We also learn more about some research papers and a book Jana co-wrote called, Honours versus Money: The Economics of Awards. Go ahead and download this episode now to find out more!

[00:02:07] Jana tells us how she got to the point where she submitted a grant proposal to Ford and Sloan and the Digital Infrastructure Fund.

[00:04:44] Jana goes more in depth about what she means by superficial recognition.

[00:08:06] Richard wonders if there are other kinds of awards and recognitions that Jana has looked at. She talks about her paper they are currently revising because they gathered new data on a field experiment they did within NASA and she mentions Eric von Hippel’s work on democratizing innovation.

[00:13:22] Richard brings up a book Jana co-wrote with Bruno Frey called, _Honours versus Money: The Economics of Awards, _which leads him into talking about societies and his opposition to badges and Jana shares why she is also sceptical when it comes to badges.

[00:19:38] Since Jana has done self-stereotyping work and how people see themselves influences their behavior, particularly in open source projects or large citizen science projects, she goes in depth about that in talking to the gender gap

[00:26:35] We find out from Jana what it is that makes digital infrastructure itself an interesting cause to research about.

[00:28:27] Learn what Jana is working on now and hear about a paper she wrote with other people that just got accepted at Psychological Review called, “Relational Incentives Theory.”

[00:34:17] Janna tells us what digital infrastructure means to her.


[00:04:18] “[A] purely symbolic recognition increases the retention rate significantly by 20% in the month after somebody got recognized [for open source projects]. And this effect moreover holds for an entire year after the initial award restore.”

[00:07:16] “Everybody knows what a dollar is but with awards, really the devil, or I should say the angel, is in the details, which makes this such a rich field to study.”

[00:07:25] “There are so many different dimensions of social recognition that we still need to further unpack.”

[00:23:55] “Recognition writ large motivates and makes recipients more confident to speak up... The one form that closes the gender gap is public recognition.”