Konietzko, Erik Paul
Open source hardware (OSH) projects are dynamic with respect to those actively participating in them. In addition, often-stated challenges in OSH projects are the difficulty to find suitable collaborators and to motivate them to stay for the longer run. This paper addresses these challenges to balance the workload between the project core team and the community. For this purpose, an ontology-based demonstrator for skill-based matching in OSH communities was developed and evaluated. A sample project and user data from a collaborative online OSH development platform was enriched with skills and connected with a semantic network consisting of two ontologies. On one hand, the demonstrator enables finding users with particular capabilities to match certain project requirements. On the other hand, users of the development platform can be matched to projects based on their skill interests. A use case scenario was evaluated using the demonstrator. The results show that an integration of a semantic network with a collaborative OSH development platform is realisable and presents potentials for further utilization.
Open source hardware (OSH) describes physical products that allow for "anyone to study, modify, produce, and distribute them". While OSH principles aim to support design reuse, recent studies have challenged whether this is properly applied in practice. Therefore, this article delivers an assessment scheme that allows to identify the readiness of OSH designs for reuse. Testing the scheme on OSH ventilator designs collected by the Publnv ventilator project showed overall good usefulness of the scheme and emphasised the need of unambiguous assessment scales based on common standards. Less than two thirds of Publnv's listed projects fulfilled minimum criteria for openness.