Knowledge Base Discussion
This part of the
workshop was a review of the Knowledge Base (KB), what it
will contain, and how it might be used.
Some participants mentioned that they have
developed "parts of collaboratories," not whole
collaboratories. They wondered how their stuff would fit into
the KB, how they could evaluate their elements in a way that
would be helpful to the KB effort, and how they could make
their elements available to others to use, or consider using.
Atul asked if there will really be enough
of a sample size to be able to make use of the relationships.
The response was, "think so, we'll see." There is
still a need to get a sense of how big the universe of collaboratories
As this project looks at the success of
collaboratories, participants mentioned the need for a contextualized
understanding of what "success" can mean. Can a
collaboratory fail, but a tool used within it succeed? Considering
that a lot can be learned from a "failure," when
is a research project considered a success? What if something
is perceived as a success, but is never widely adopted?
How do we capture the "lessons learned"
while developing the collaboratory? We should also capture
the "gotchas" that were the difficulties in making
Suggestions for the KB included:
- Measuring the usability of the
- Could be called "barrier to
access," or something like that.
- Making a decision tree that would help
in deciding what tools should be used (or are in fact used
- looking for a pattern in the KB data).
- Capturing what "stage"
a collaboratory gets to.
- Research prototype
- Small deployment
- Full deployment
- Capture how the process changed, as
a result of using the collaboratory.
- Capturing how operations and maintenance
are done with the collaboratories.
- Models for maintenance
- How are these activities funded?
- Capture what evaluations have been done
in relation to the project.
A possible way to get groups to have
some additional incentive to work with us on the data collection,
one could plan for a special issue of a journal in which to
publish analysis or case studies of the collaboratories. (For
example, in, "Concurrency, Computation, Practice, and
Workshop Wrap-up/Community Discussion
This session was
an opportunity to bring the workshop to a close, as well as
a chance for participants to mention issues not previously
raised and decide how they might continue this discussion
and sharing beyond the bounds of the workshop.
Some mentioned wanting a "sharing
ring," or some other type of way to match resources and
needs. Participants have many common needs, that they do not
necessarily have time to deal with alone, but that other participants
may have already had experience with - and there is little
desire to spend time recreating the wheel.
There also was a clear desire to have a
"clearing house" for collaborative modules/tools.
There was a call for collaboratory tool
descriptions, as there are people on the periphery, who have
not read all the multi-disciplinary literature, and want to
have a guide to the tools used in collaboratories.
All this led to a discussion of having
an SOC portal that might contain:
- Discussions and ways to share information.
- Clearing house (collaboratoryofcollaboratories.org
- A place to share software modules
that the community has developed
- A way to self-register modules
- Many people were specifically interested
in this, particularly, Joseph, Carl, Rich, Atul, Ted,
- Mailing lists (with a digest version)
- Evaluation tools
- A forum for discussing the issues
dealing with the international component
- Discussion of protocol
- Regional variations (VOIP being
illegal in Africa, GRID status in the EU/UK, etc.)
- Contact information
- A listing of collaboratories, and a
way to self-register your collaboratory
- Best practices
- There was a common consensus that we
should not wait 5 years to do this.
There was a quick discussion of the most
valuable aspects of the workshop. Meeting with all the different
people and having the opportunity to network was a valuable
aspect of the workshops. Many also said it was good to have
some of the computer science people talking with the information
There was also a general consensus
that it was interesting and reassuring to hear that everyone
is dealing with the same types of issues with their collaboratories.
But also it was discouraging, as some people wanted to go
home from the workshop with solutions, only to find that these
were common problems that others were also working on.
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