On Hackathons: A Multidisciplinary Literature Review

Connie W. Chau, Elizabeth M. Gerber

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contribution


The number of hackathon events worldwide has nearly quadrupled in the last five years. Despite exponential growth across diverse industries and increasing interest across academic disciplines, our integrated understanding of the phenomena of hackathons is limited. We conduct the first multidisciplinary literature review of publications from 1999 to 2022 to understand the conceptualization of the phenomena over time. We find that hackathon research can be categorized into 4 core areas (purpose, format, processes, and outcomes). Research was first driven by a purpose (innovation, learning, and collaboration), followed by an examination of how formats adjust to purpose to influence what happens (processes) and what is produced (outcomes), and critical reviews of the hackathon phenomena. We contribute a unifying framework with these four core areas to inform future directions of hackathon research and practice, as well as a discussion of the need for longitudinal and multidisciplinary research of hackathons.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationCHI 2023 - Proceedings of the 2023 CHI Conference on Human Factors in Computing Systems
PublisherAssociation for Computing Machinery
ISBN (Electronic)9781450394215
StatePublished - Apr 19 2023
Event2023 CHI Conference on Human Factors in Computing Systems, CHI 2023 - Hamburg, Germany
Duration: Apr 23 2023Apr 28 2023

Publication series

NameConference on Human Factors in Computing Systems - Proceedings


Conference2023 CHI Conference on Human Factors in Computing Systems, CHI 2023


  • hackathons
  • literature review
  • multidisciplinary

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Human-Computer Interaction
  • Computer Graphics and Computer-Aided Design
  • Software


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