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Cress, U. & Kimmerle, J. (2009). Knowledge Exchange as a Motivational Problem – Results of an Empirical Research Program

1. Introduction

The writers summarise well the current use of social software and the motivational problem (which is referred as a "social dilemma" in the following chapters) that arises from contributing to a comprehensive pool of knowledge. They also state the current understanding of the motivational problem in knowledge exchange. They refer to research which compares traditional encyclopedia to the wikipedia. It seems wikipedia is better in the validity of information. Wikipedia shows the same problem though, which has been reported also in other contexts.The majority of users only lurk and use the information without contributing to it themselves. Similar experiences have been reported from virtual seminars, news groups and information pools of organizational knowledge management systems.

The purpose of the study is clearly stated. The purpose is to describe the phenomenon of a motivational problem in knowledge exchange from a psychological perspective. The writers aim to explain the motivational situation of a user, show how this leads to lurking and explain the consequenses for the group. They attempt to describe a series of experiments which they used for investigating people´s motivation for contributing to a shared pool of knowledge. The hypotheses seems to be that the majority of people prefer lurking over contributing to the common pool of knowledge. The hypotheses is not stated very clearly thought. Its very important to study the effects of various influencing factors to motivation. It helps us to plan better tools for motivating all users.

2. Materials and Methods

The materials and methods used are descibed in several chapters under the headline of "Experimental Examination of the Knowledge-Exchange Dilemma". There is enough information to repeat the experiment and duplicate the procedures. Each inluencing factor that effects motivation is covered in its own chapter. The results of studies concerning each factor are reported in those same chapters.

3. Results

There is no separate chapter for the results. They are reported in chapters under the headline of "Results of a Series of Experiments",
each dealing with a separate factor that influences motivation. The results are presented logically to support the research goal.

4. Conclusion

Some conclusions are stated in the chapter "Some Practical Consequenses". They are stated in a logical order. They could be more clear though.

5. Discussion

Discussion is combined with conclusions under the
chapter "Some Practical Consequenses". There are no errors of fact nor interpretation. The relationship between the results and previous work should be made more clear.

6. Title

The title describes the study and its major findings well. Its appropriate and clear.

7. Abstract

There is an abstract in the paper. The authors address the purpose of the study, the primary methods used and a brief description of the study design. They also list the influencing factors they found in their experiments. The conclusions are left out from the abstract.

8. Final Analysis

List the three most important IMPROVEMENTS that are needed.
- Chapters should be named according to the review list.
- Same units should be used in both text and figures.

List the three most important STRENGHTS of this paper, which should not be lost in the process of revision.
- Each factor that influences motivation is dealt with in a separate chapter.

The writing style of the paper is professional. Only some small corrections should be made. The paper might improve in clarity by naming the chapters according to the review list.

In my view this paper should be placed in the following category:
ACCEPT: but in of need further work as indicated in this review

Reviewer’s Comments
The research confirms the observations made in previous studies. It gives important information on the different factors that affect motivation in knowledge exchange. The paper might improve in clarity by naming the chapters according to the review list.