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An alliance to advance the understanding of collaboratories
Science of Collaboratories

About SOC : Overview


The project is being driven by researchers at the University of Michigan, and Howard University, and is sponsored by the National Science Foundation.

Throughout history scientists and engineers have taken advantage of state-of-the-art communication technologies to facilitate long-distance collaborations. In the past few decades the need for collaboration has increased markedly as problems have required large 1993 National Research Counsel Reportmultidisciplinary teams, complex instrumentation, or vast amounts of data from multiple sources. Fortunately, this same time period has seen a dramatic increase in the power and variety of communication and computational technologies available for long-distance collaboration.

In 1989 William Wulf coined the term “collaboratory” to refer to the use of such technologies to support geographically dispersed collaborative research. For more than a decade a number of collaboratory projects have been carried out in a variety of scientific and engineering fields. Most collaboratories have been built as one-off, hand-crafted projects. We seek to change this. The Science of Collaboratories project is devoted to understanding the technical and behavioral principles that can lead to better, more successful design of collaboratories in the future.

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