As the open source movement grows, it becomes important to understand the dynamics that affect the motivation of participants who contribute their time freely to such projects. One important motivation that has been identified is the desire for formal recognition in the open source community. We investigated the impact of social capital in participants' social networks on their recognition-based performance; i.e., the formal status they are accorded in the community. We used a sample of 465 active participants in the Wikipedia open content encyclopedia community to investigate the effects of two types of social capital and found that network closure, measured by direct and indirect ties, had a significant positive effect on increasing participants' recognition-based performance. Structural holes had mixed effects on participants' status, but were generally a source of social capital. (C) 2007 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.