Facilitating collaboration

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Presentation delivered at the doctoral defence of Monica Lassi, University of Borås, 11th June 2014. There is a full narrative to accompany these slides at http://hazelhall.org/2014/06/12/facilitating-collaboration-a-doctoral-defence-in-sweden/

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Facilitating collaboration

  1. 1. Facilitating collaboration: a review Dr Hazel Hall Professor of Social Informatics Edinburgh Napier University http://hazelhall.org @hazelh Presentation made at the doctoral defence of Monica Lassi, University of Borås, Sweden, 11th June 2014
  2. 2. Facilitating collaboration: a review An opportunity to situate  Opponent  Research background  Institution  Work examined  Research questions  Four studies that develop the thesis  The thesis’ contribution to knowledge Then on to the questioning…
  3. 3. http://hazelhall.org/about
  4. 4. Mirifici Logarithmorum Canonis Descriptio (1614)
  5. 5. http://www.social-informatics.org/uploadi/editor/1158776249plakat%20ENG1.pdf
  6. 6. http://hazelhall.org/publications/phd-the-knowledge-trap-an- intranet-implementation-in-a-corporate-environment/
  7. 7. http://hdl.handle.net/2320/13583
  8. 8. Collaboration and LIS 1. How can collaboration be facilitated? 2. How can collaboration be stimulated?
  9. 9. What do members of the LIS community perceive to be (a) benefits, (b) facilitators, (c) challenges of an LIS collaboratory? What are the current attitudes amongst members of the LIS community towards practices of creating, sharing, using and re-using data collection instruments? How can the social actors model and the online community life- cycle model contribute to the understanding of perceptions and practices related to data collection instruments and a potential LIS collaboratory? 3 PhD research questions
  10. 10. Two theoretical models 1. Online community life-cycle  Gives a perspective on designing social aspects of a collaboratory  For example, with reference to interaction between actors, it reveals factors that contribute to the success of an online community 2. Social actors model  Helps understanding of potential collaboratory actors with regards to:  The context of the organisations where they work  Their professional roles
  11. 11. Focus of the study Scientific collaboration as related to data collection instruments, e.g.  Interview guides  Questionnaires  Observation protocols Specific activities related to the handling the data collection instruments  Creating  Sharing  Using  Re-using
  12. 12. Thesis development Four studies  Each builds on the one that precedes it  Each contributes to the next one A prototype collaboratory  Online facilities for collaboration  Designed as part of the work  The research process is thus also a design process Socio-technical view Technology affects people People affect technology
  13. 13. Paper 1: literature review (2010) “Identifying factors that may impact adoption and use of a social science collaboratory: a synthesis of previous research”  Analyses the literature of scientific collaboration and collaboratories  Not LIS-specific, also includes material from:  Communication Studies  Computer Mediated Communication  Computer Science  Computer Supported Cooperative Work  Psychology  Sociology  Social Studies of Science
  14. 14. Paper 1: findings Six factors are important to adoption and use of a collaboratory  3 individual factors related to:  Impact of collaboratory engagement on career progress, e.g. citations  Personal factors (other than those related to career progress) e.g. fun  Cost of participation  3 group factors related to the extent to which:  The collaboratory advances the discipline/science  The collaboratory has an impact on the community it seeks to serve  The cost of developing and maintaining the collaboratory represents “good value”
  15. 15. http://www.informationr.net/ir/15-3/colis7/colis710.html
  16. 16. Paper 2: empirical study on perceptions “Sharing data collection instruments: perceptions of facilitators and challenges for a Library and Information Science collaboratory”  Explores factors that may affect a collaboratory  Design, adoption and use  Details current practices related to data collection instruments  Creating, sharing, using, re-using  Based on perceptions of 16 interviewees from across the LIS community  Benefits, facilitators, challenges of collaboratory for sharing data collection instruments
  17. 17. Paper 2 findings (1): 2 main benefits A collaboratory would be useful to the LIS community/discipline  Resources held would make it possible to build on previous work, e.g.  Develop and improve a data collection tool  Compare results across studies  Contributors would feel a rise in personal esteem when their tools are re- used
  18. 18. Paper 2 findings (2): 2 main challenges Value of tool re-use  Research is often unique: how useful is one person’s tool in another person’s work?  Need for rich meta data about the tool in question for users to determine the value of an existing tool  The opportunity to modify a shared data collection tool is not necessarily positive  Could this actually lower its value? LIS context  “Sharing resources is not in LIS culture” (p. 53)  Practitioners lack time, confidence and personal incentive to become active collaboratory users
  19. 19. Paper 3: prototype design (2013) Presents the design of a prototype collaboratory built in MediaWiki around “use cases”  Join the collaboratory  Create a research profile  Handle data collection instruments  Share one  Find one  Post a comment/question about one  Create a new one  Volunteer to be a reviewer  Provide a recommendation letter for a collaboratory member
  20. 20. http://www.informationr.net/ir/18-2/paper576.html#.U5nnsC-prOd
  21. 21. Paper 4: empirical study to evaluate design “Evaluation of a prototype collaboratory for sharing data collection instruments in Library and Information Science”  Investigates how a group of librarians perceives the prototype collaboratory  “Think aloud” sessions  Semi-structured interviews on “think aloud” sessions  Examines the potential of a collaboratory for the sharing of data collection instruments in LIS
  22. 22. Paper 4: findings Librarians who tested the prototype  Encountered initial difficulties with the interface, but were confident that these could be overcome  Drew attention to high cost of participation  Learning the mark-up language  Working in English (not Swedish)  Becoming familiar with research methods vocabulary  Liked the facility for sharing and commenting  Suggested the value of a collaboratory for their end users
  23. 23. What do members of the LIS community perceive to be (a) benefits, (b) facilitators, (c) challenges of an LIS collaboratory? Research question 1
  24. 24. Perceptions of an LIS collaboratory Value  Resources held would make it possible to build on previous work  The research process would accelerate  Contributors would feel a rise in personal esteem when their tools are re-used  Researchers from other disciplines could learn from/contribute to LIS  New ways of working with LIS data collection tools could be disseminated in teaching Challenges  How do you meet the needs of a diverse audience?  How do you ensure the quality of collaboratory content?  How do you reward participation?  Benefit of participation needs to be greater than cost  Different users prefer different rewards (e.g. time to engage, citations for esteem)
  25. 25. Perceptions of an LIS collaboratory Value  Resources held would make it possible to build on previous work  The research process would accelerate  Contributors would feel a rise in personal esteem when their tools are re-used  Researchers from other disciplines could learn from/contribute to LIS  New ways of working with LIS data collection tools could be disseminated in teaching Challenges  How do you meet the needs of a diverse audience?  How do you ensure the quality of collaboratory content?  How do you reward participation?  Benefit of participation needs to be greater than cost  Different users prefer different rewards (e.g. time to engage, citations for esteem)
  26. 26. What are the current attitudes amongst members of the LIS community towards practices of creating, sharing, using and re-using data collection instruments? Research question 2
  27. 27. Attitudes towards collaboratory practice Embracing practice  Positive attitudes towards more sharing and re-use of data collection instruments Tensions  Desire to support LIS versus the desire to maintain control of one’s own resources
  28. 28. Attitudes towards collaboratory practice Embracing practice  Positive attitudes towards more sharing and re-use of data collection instruments Tensions  Desire to support LIS versus the desire to maintain control of one’s own resources
  29. 29. How can the social actors model and the online community life- cycle model contribute to the understanding of perceptions and practices related to data collection instruments and a potential LIS collaboratory? Research question 3
  30. 30. Theoretical models Social actors  Empirical material too diverse and complex to categorise and generalise according to this model  Different actor roles  Varied organisational contexts Online community life-cycle  Contribution to a design framework with a focus on social interaction in a collaboratory  Insight into the creation stage of the online community life- cycle model  Goal established  Target audience determined
  31. 31. Contributions of this study Collaboration in general  Review of the literature on the design, adoption and use of collaboratories  Greater depth of coverage of the theme in a social science domain  Previous work is largely in the domain of science  Focus on initial design of online collaborative space  Previous work primarily considers what affects/stimulates use Collaboration and LIS  New knowledge on the sharing of data collection instruments  Inclusion of practitioners in the study  Understanding of LIS community’s perceptions of the potential of collaboratories  Identification of needs of an LIS collaboratory  e.g. tailored provision, interface design
  32. 32. Facilitating collaboration: a review Dr Hazel Hall Professor of Social Informatics Edinburgh Napier University http://hazelhall.org @hazelh Presentation made at the doctoral defence of Monica Lassi, University of Borås, Sweden, 11th June 2014

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