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What can Studies of e-Learning Teach us about Collaboration in e-Research? Some Findings from Digital Library Studies

Article

Abstract

e-Research is intended to facilitate collaboration through distributed access to content, tools, and services. Lessons about collaboration are extracted from the findings of two large, long-term digital library research projects. Both the Alexandria Digital Earth Prototype Project (ADEPT) and the Center for Embedded Networked Sensing (CENS) project on data management leverage scientific research data for use in teaching. Two forms of collaboration were studied: (1) direct, in which faculty work together on research projects; and (2) indirect or serial, in which faculty use or contribute content to a common pool, such as teaching resources, concepts and relationships, or research data. Five aspects of collaboration in e-Research are discussed: (1) disciplinary factors, (2) incentives to adopt e-Learning and e-Research technologies, (3) user roles, (4) information sharing, and (5) technical requirements. Collaboration varied by research domain in both projects, and appears partly to be a function of the degree of instrumentation in data collection. Faculty members were more interested in tools to manage their own research data than in tools to facilitate teaching. They also were more reflective about their research than teaching activities. The availability of more content, tools, and services to incorporate primary data in teaching was only a minimal incentive to use these resources. Large investments in a knowledge base of scientific concepts and relationships for teaching did not result in re-use by other faculty during the course of the project. Metadata requirements for research and for teaching vary greatly, which further complicates the transfer of resources across applications. Personal digital libraries offer a middle ground between private control and public release of content, which is a promising direction for the design of digital libraries that will facilitate collaboration in e-Research.

Keywords

collaboration digital libraries e-Research e-Science e-Learning human-computer interaction information seeking information retrieval 

Notes

Acknowledgements

ADEPT and CENS are both large collaborative projects. The education and evaluation research in ADEPT described here was conducted in 1999 to 2005 in collaboration with Anne Gilliland and Gregory Leazer, both of the Department of Information Studies, Graduate School of Education and Information Studies, UCLA, and Richard E. Mayer, Department of Psychology, UC-Santa Barbara. ADEPT was funded by National Science Foundation grant IIS-9817432, Terence R. Smith, University of California, Santa Barbara, Principal Investigator. We have been fortunate to have the participation of many talented students, all of whom are listed as co-authors on the ADEPT papers cited herein.

The data management and education research in CENS is conducted in collaboration with William A. Sandoval and Noel Enyedy, both of the Department of Education, and Jonathan Furner of the Department of Information Studies; all three are faculty of the Graduate School of Education and Information Studies, UCLA. Students and post-doctoral fellows who participated on the data management team during the period of research reported here (2002–2005) are Stasa Milojevic, Jillian Wallis, Kalpana Shankar, and Eun Park. CENS is funded by National Science Foundation Cooperative Agreement #CCR-0120778, Deborah L. Estrin, UCLA, Principal Investigator; Christine L. Borgman is a co-Principal Investigator. Further research on data management described here is funded by NSF award number ESI-0352572, William A. Sandoval, Principal Investigator; Christine L. Borgman, co-Principal Investigator. We have enjoyed the extensive contributions to our work made by members of the education team, including (during the period covered in this paper) Sara Terheggen, Karen Kim, Joe Wise, Kathy Griffis, Andy Wu, Kelli Millwood, and Jeff Bockert. The James San Jacinto Mountains Reserve is part of the University of California Natural Reserve System; its director, Dr. Michael Hamilton, is a Co-Principal Investigator of CENS. The CENS seismology team is led by Prof. Paul Davis, Department of Earth and Space Sciences, UCLA, who is also a co-PI on CENS.

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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media B.V. 2006

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Information StudiesUniversity of CaliforniaLos AngelesUSA

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