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Conceptualizing and advancing research networking systems

Conceptualizing and advancing research networking systems

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Published by Titus Schleyer
Science in general, and biomedical research in particular, is becoming more collaborative. As a result, collaboration with the right individuals, teams and institutions is increasingly crucial for scientific progress. We propose “research networking systems” (RNS) as a new type of system designed to help scientists identify and choose collaborators, and suggest a corresponding research agenda. The research agenda covers four areas: Foundations, Presentation, Architecture and Evaluation. Foundations includes project-, institution- and discipline-specific motivational factors; the role of social networks; and impression formation based on information beyond expertise and interests. Presentation addresses representing expertise in a comprehensive and up-to-date manner; the role of controlled vocabularies and folksonomies; the tension between seekers’ need for comprehensive information and potential collaborators’ desire to control how they are seen by others; and the need to support serendipitous discovery of collaborative opportunities. Architecture considers aggregation and synthesis of information from multiple sources, social system interoperability, and integration with the user’s primary work context. Lastly, Evaluation focuses on assessment of collaboration decisions, measurement of user-specific costs and benefits, and how the large-scale impact of RNS could be evaluated with longitudinal and naturalistic methods. We hope that this paper stimulates the human-computer interaction, computer-supported cooperative work and related communities to pursue a broad and comprehensive agenda for developing research networking systems.
Science in general, and biomedical research in particular, is becoming more collaborative. As a result, collaboration with the right individuals, teams and institutions is increasingly crucial for scientific progress. We propose “research networking systems” (RNS) as a new type of system designed to help scientists identify and choose collaborators, and suggest a corresponding research agenda. The research agenda covers four areas: Foundations, Presentation, Architecture and Evaluation. Foundations includes project-, institution- and discipline-specific motivational factors; the role of social networks; and impression formation based on information beyond expertise and interests. Presentation addresses representing expertise in a comprehensive and up-to-date manner; the role of controlled vocabularies and folksonomies; the tension between seekers’ need for comprehensive information and potential collaborators’ desire to control how they are seen by others; and the need to support serendipitous discovery of collaborative opportunities. Architecture considers aggregation and synthesis of information from multiple sources, social system interoperability, and integration with the user’s primary work context. Lastly, Evaluation focuses on assessment of collaboration decisions, measurement of user-specific costs and benefits, and how the large-scale impact of RNS could be evaluated with longitudinal and naturalistic methods. We hope that this paper stimulates the human-computer interaction, computer-supported cooperative work and related communities to pursue a broad and comprehensive agenda for developing research networking systems.

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Categories:Types, Research
Published by: Titus Schleyer on May 08, 2012
Copyright:Attribution Non-commercial

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10/07/2014

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