What’s in it for me? Responses to collaborative work space provision in small-scale pedagogical e-research projects

V. King, F. Deepwell

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    Abstract

    Organisations such as the UK’s JISC (Joint Information Systems Committee) and the NSF (National Science Foundation) in the USA are pursuing ambitious plans for grid computing and the development and global deployment of an IT infrastructure to support and promote international research collaboration. Meanwhile, numerous virtual project teams struggle to work effectively with software tools ill-suited to their needs. This paper reflects on two small-scale e-research projects where participants have failed to adopt the allocated collaborative platform. In each case the expectations of these users were similar: that software would be easily available to them for which the effort of adoption was equalled or exceeded by the benefits of its use to each individual. The allocated platforms were not perceived to satisfy these requirements; hence each group resorted to alternative collaboration strategies. The barriers to CSCW use are well known but continue to evolve. This study highlights the tensions created when end-user teams demand more of their collaborative work spaces than the currently provided software can supply. It is concluded that these difficulties will continue until a platform or CSCW approach is developed, suited to small-scale e-research, which can be ubiquitously adopted.
    Original languageEnglish
    PublisherCoventry University
    Publication statusAccepted/In press - 2006

    Keywords

    • cyberinfrastructure
    • inquiry
    • IS strategy
    • pedagogical research
    • personal inquiry
    • situational analysis
    • teamwork
    • user requirements
    • virtual organisations

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