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Just a quick note of a couple of things missing: the work of Manuela Schmidt (TU Wein), Yu-Wei Lin (Salford Uni, at the time), et al. which pre-dates the current earliest reference by a couple of years, and is also more rigorous in approach. If I have time I'll dig out the various refs, but noting it here in case I forget. SK53 (talk) 20:46, 8 June 2015 (UTC)

Thanks SK53! I found a couple more links from searching around with those names, but I'm not sure if I found the ones you're thinking of. Maybe "A qualitative enquiry into OpenStreetMap making" (PDF)? Brittag (talk) 21:50, 8 June 2015 (UTC)
Yup, exactly those. The paper & the talks are probably the single most useful source for why people come & stay (or not) as mappers on OSM. Probably the work could do with being repeated on a larger scale (for instance with Missing Maps participants), but that probably requires a new research team. It may also be worth noting various 'outreach' initiatives such as welcoming new mappers: the general opinion is that these have relatively little impact on whether people become committed. Lots of refs in various mailing lists: Simon Poole & SomeoneElse are probably names worth searching for. SK53 (talk) 12:28, 9 June 2015 (UTC)