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The same open source philosophy that has been traditionally applied to software development can be applied to the collaborative creation of non-software information products, such as encyclopedias, books, and dictionaries. Most notably, the eight-year-old Wikipedia is a comprehensive general encyclopedia, comprising over 12 million articles in over 200 languages. It becomes increasingly important to rigorously investigate the workings of the open source process to understand its benefits and motivations. This paper presents a research program funded by the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada with the following objectives: (1) Survey open source encyclopedia participants to understand their motivations for participating and their demographic characteristics, and compare them with participants in traditional open source software projects; (2) investigate the process of open source encyclopedia development in a live community to understand how their motivations interact in the open source framework to create quality information products.