In our endeavor
to define, abstract, and codify the broad underlying technical
and social elements that lead to successful collaboratories,
we will pursue a series of activities associated with several
- The qualitative
and quantitative study of collaboratory design and usage,
both technical and social aspects of performance.
We will convene a series of workshops with a broad spectrum
of collaboratory developers/evaluators, and systematically
explore their experiences to develop generalizations.
We will also conduct comprehensive studies of a select
few collaboratories which are underway or concluded in
order to establish a detailed picture of collaboratory
and maintenance of a Collaboratory Knowledge Base.
Drawing on the work in (1), we will create a Web-accessible
archive of primary source material, summaries and abstracts,
and relevant generalizations and principles, a database
of collaboratory resources, and other related material.
- The abstraction
and codification of principles, heuristics, and frameworks
to guide the rapid creation and deployment of successful
collaboratories. We seek to understand the complex
interplay of technical and social
factors that can lead to principles of design or customization.
Codification of these principles will reduce the dependence
of scientific collaborators on specialized collaboratory
developers for building and deploying such tools. We also
seek deeper understanding of the sociotechnical processes
involved with collaboratory construction and use, both
as an element of improving collaboratories and as a basic
- The formulation
of a components approach to collaboratory technology and
guidelines for their use. Many collaborative technologies
already exists, but not in a form that allows for easy
configuration and customization by end users. We will
develop technical specifications for such components,
and work with commercial partners or open source developers
to see that such components emerge. Our goal here is to
lower the technical as well as the social barriers to
participation in collaboratories.
- The assessment
of emerging collaboratory testbeds. To test our principles
and methods, we will use new testbed projects to expand
our knowledge of new technical capabilities and the social
processes behind successful collaboration.