Working Together on the Web, Working Well?


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The Atlanta Conference on Science and Innovation Policy 2011

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  • Thanks the organisers, since 2007 I have been Working as a Liaison officer for a EU network in biodiversity research to help build a distributed network at an instituanal and researchers level (help with the design of physical network facilities and by facilitating network meetings between researchers and stakeholders). Since March 2011 the VU has given me the opportunity to put my work and the data I collected in an academic perspective and to write a doctoral thesis under supervision of PvdB.
  • What I’m going to present is some of the research that we carried out on the assessment of an online workspace in biodiversity research
  • Develop an understanding of and collect empirical data on the organizational and disciplinary context stemming from the field on what are “common scientific practices” in taxonomy.Develop an understanding and collect empirical data on the motivation, barriers and uses among current users of the ViBRANT system
  • Provide feedback to IT developers and funders
  • Simply too much work for too few peopleLink also to LouiseAckers and need of creating communities, to avoid to have to move abroad sever times during your career and on the other hand (not often triggered by the lack of tenure tracks) because they have a larger attachment to their community than to their institution.
  • Number of Countries
  • Visits represent the number of individual sessions initiated by all the visitors to your site. If a user is inactive on your site for 30 minutes or more, any future activity will be attributed to a new session. Users that leave your site and return within 30 minutes will be counted as part of the original sessionOther questions studied:Do you achieve the goals that you set with your site?Are you happy with the impact of your site (why so why not)Did working online (or the site) generated activities such as: publications; grant proposals; meetings; presentationsWhat do you see are the barriers of use?Number of users (community members) they were acquainted with before going online, and if so how long and howCommunity of 1-: we had some responses but not systematically (Loss of control over quality; Early stage of the development of the site, several respondents thought is was too early to inviteothers to join in.; Characteristics related to the target audience. The community was thought to be too small to getinvolvement either they lacked the expert background needed
  • This questions has become high on the agenda of institutions and funders of e-infrastructures, keen to demonstrate the impact of their facility Do you make an impact outside your own community?Note: ISPs are not directly affiliated to people but to organisations, studying users groups
  • Download from the web of science& Google scholarWeb data and unobstruviness
  • Looking at ties also motivated by organisational knowledge creation theoryAmong many other reasons, for a long time georpgraphical distances have hindered this communication, travel, money time, these barriers seem to vansish offering new possibilities for science...but brining its own barriers such as computer power; computer literacy; connectness
  • Countries of authors
  • Science only advances is knowledge is sharedBefore online collaboration started (since March 2011)
  • Goal here today was to discuss potential ways to analyse the impact, over the last days we already learnt a lot about how to further extend our analysis. I mention Julia Melkers presentation on the assessment of a science centre and how to combine bibliometric and sna data. I highlight the early stage of this project because as you will hear in the presentation I’ll liklty trigger more questions than answers, nevertheless I think is an informative exercie for me and hopefully for you to explore what we can do with this type of data
  • Causality: we heardsome nice how to tackle this in the Thursday session on assements on the European Research Grants
  • Working Together on the Web, Working Well?

    1. 1. Working Together on the Web, Working Well?Innovation of a Research Work Environment Daphne Duin VU-University Amsterdam Knowledge Broker ViBRANT Together with...Vincent S. Smith2, Simon Rycroft2, Irina Brake2, Dave Roberts2 & Peter van den Besselaar¹ ¹VU-University Amsterdam ² Natural History Museum, London
    2. 2. Overview: Working Together on the Web,Working Well?• The larger project• Biodiversity research online “Scratchpads”• Data: Working on the web? – Use of the Web (interviews + Web data)• Data, Case: - Who are the online community members ? - With whom did they collaborate? (bibliometric + SNA)• Next steps
    3. 3. Larger project• ViBRANT (dec 2010-2013, Virtual Biodiversity Research and Access Network for Taxonomy• Support the development of virtual research communities involved in biodiversity science• VU-University Amsterdam and the social design of the e-infrastructure
    4. 4. Social designWhere we like to go:• What is the impact of working online for science, researchers and science organisations? -To what extent does it change science and scientific practice? -To what extent does it help science? Contribute to more knowledge? better knowledge? A more efficient use of talent and resources? Increased visibility and use of output?
    5. 5. Online communities in BiodiversityResearch. Why go online?The challenges of 21st century taxonomy for biodiversity research Goal… • Inventory the Earth’s species • Document their relationships • “Publish” & apply these data Data set… • 1.8 M described spp. (10M names) • 300M pages (over last 250 years) • 1.5-3B specimens People… • 4-6,000 taxonomists • 30-40,000 “pro-amateurs” • Many more citizen scientists?
    6. 6. Scratchpad landscape
    7. 7. Use of the Scratchpads Today:  > 3000 registered users (members)  > 200 sites  800-1600 Web visits per day Site use among maintainers*: 1) For research dissemination 2) For data management purposes 3) For data sharing 50% of the sites “community of -1” Barrier..finding the right people? *Based on interviews with 45 maintainers (out of 107 and out of 129 sites) (Smith, V .S, Duin, D et al (2010)
    8. 8. Web visitsCan we use web data to identify the stretch of the audiences to thescientific community websites Scratchpads?** Number and categories of Internet Service Providers (ISPs) university (Oct. 1,2010 -March 31, 2011) college london Number % All ISPs* 9212 100 ISPs* without commercial ISPs 2316 25 * Average time on site >4 sec. kenya forestry research institute - kefri Categories of ISPs Number % national botanical garden of belgium Research/Education/R&D 1933 83% Government 204 9%istituto zooprofilattico sperimentale del piemonte Company 50 2% public Non-profit 41 2% Health european parliament 2% 39 Art/culture/ Media/publishing 25 1% Travel canadian house of commons 23 1% Other 1 0,04% smithkline beecham biologicals ** Data presented at Altmetrics workshop of the ACM WebSci ‘11
    9. 9. Working online in biodiversity, online community of 11 members• To what extent do co-author networks of Scratchpad members overlap? ! Co-author relations are not the only relevant relations in academia
    10. 10. Knowledge creation needs...• ...knowledgeable people to talk to each other (CoPs)• ...the power of Communities of Practice because “knowledge shared is knowledge doubled”(Sveiby)• Web 2.0 to facilitate CoPs across geo distances• combining divers and overlapping knowledge inputs between exchange partners (McFayden et al 2009)
    11. 11. Case study: Livingcreatures.orgCo-author relations*among the 11 membersof the Scratchpadbetween 2001-2010 *based on data of the Web ofScience & Google Scholar
    12. 12. Co-author ties (2001-2010) number number op number number of max numberScratchpad of papers with co- papers with papers with > of co-authorsmembers papers authors 0 co-author 2 authors on 1 paperSP member 1 30 27 3 18 19SP member 2 18 14 4 13 9SP member 3 0 0 0 0 0SP member 4 16 15 1 14 6SP member 5 0 0 0 0 0SP member 6 1 1 0 1 2SP member 7 17 16 1 11 16SP member 8 70 61 9 36 4SP member 9 0 0 0 0 0SP member 10 0 0 0 0 0SP member 11 3 3 0 1 2 155 137 18 94
    13. 13. SP 3 SP 5 SP 9 SP member 4SP 10 SP member 2 SP member 6 SP member 1 SP member 7Total number ofco-authors = 179 Scratchpad (SP) members and their co- author relations between 2001-2010 * *Incomplete network for 1 Scratchpad based on data of the Web of SP member 11 Science & Google Scholar
    14. 14. Co-author overlapScratchpad member 1 3Scratchpad member 2 3Scratchpad member 3 0Scratchpad member 4 3Scratchpad member 5 0Scratchpad member 6 1Scratchpad member 7 1Scratchpad member 8 3Scratchpad member 9 0Scratchpad member 10 0Scratchpad member 11 1
    15. 15. What about the co-authors?Number of Scratchpad members they co- authored with:• 160 co-authors collaborated with 1 SP member• 16 Co-authors with 2 SP members• 3 Co-authors with 3 SP members
    16. 16. Observations and ?• What is a large or small co-author network? Workforce of around 4.000-6.000 experts; 179 co-authors of the experts (but also discipline dependent?)• Value of co-author ties may differ (study whole network)• Define “divers” and “overlap”
    17. 17. Observations and ?Co-author ties for knowledge creation:- Compare before and after Scratchpads- Causality - Control group (but even then...)• Gap in interviews “what are barriers for collaboration”-• Scale and technical complexity of data• Need to team-up
    18. 18. References Smith, V .S, Duin, D. et al (2010) . Motivating Online Publication of Scholarly Research Through Social Networking Tools. Conference Proceedings paper delivered at COOP2010, 18 May, 2010 as part of a workshop titled Incentives and Motivation for Web-Based Collaboration••
    19. 19. AcknowledgementsResearch supported by:• EU / ViBRANT• Vince Smith for sharing presentation material
    20. 20. Thank you ?