Quid Pro Quo: An Exploration of Reciprocity in Code Review

Gavidia-Calderon, Carlos; Han, DongGyun and Bennaceur, Amel (2022). Quid Pro Quo: An Exploration of Reciprocity in Code Review. In: 19th International Conference on Mining Software Repositories (MSR ’22), 23-24 May 2022, Pittsburgh, PA, USA, ACM.

DOI: https://doi.org/10.1145/3524842.3528522

URL: https://conf.researchr.org/details/msr-2022/msrhac...


We explore the role of reciprocity in code review processes. Reciprocity manifests itself in two ways: 1) reviewing code for others translates to accepted code contributions, and 2) having contributions accepted increases the reviews made for others. We use vector autoregressive (VAR) models to explore the causal relation between reviews performed and accepted contributions. After fitting VAR models for 24 active open-source developers, we found evidence of reciprocity in 6 of them. These results suggest reciprocity does play a role in code review, that can potentially be exploited to increase reviewer participation.

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