Computer Supported Cooperative Work (CSCW)

, Volume 15, Issue 4, pp 257–279 | Cite as

Remote Collaboration Over Video Data: Towards Real-Time e-Social Science

  • Mike Fraser
  • Jon Hindmarsh
  • Katie Best
  • Christian Heath
  • Greg Biegel
  • Chris Greenhalgh
  • Stuart Reeves


The design of distributed systems to support collaboration among groups of scientists raises new networking challenges that grid middleware developers are addressing. This field of development work, ‘e-Science’, is increasingly recognising the critical need of understanding the ordinary day-to-day work of doing research to inform design. We have investigated one particular area of collaborative social scientific work – the analysis of video data. Based on interviews and observational studies, we discuss current practices of social scientific work with digital video in three areas: Preparation for collaboration; Control of data and application; and Annotation configurations and techniques. For each, we describe how these requirements feature in our design of a distributed video analysis system as part of the MiMeG project: our security policy and distribution; the design of the control system; and providing freeform annotation over data. Finally, we review our design in light of initial use of the software between project partners; and discuss how we might transform the spatial configuration of the system to support annotation behaviour.


video analysis e-social science groupware synchronous collaboration 



This work reported here forms part of by the VidGrid and MiMeG projects. The VidGrid Project was funded by the ESRC under the e-Social Science pilot projects initiative, award numbers RES-149-25-0013 and RES-149-25-0013-A. MixedMediaGrid (MiMeG) is an ESRC e-Social Science Research Node, award number RES-149-25-0033. We very much appreciate the participation of all of our interviewees. We would also like to thank for their comments and contributions our colleagues in MiMeG, members of the distributed National Centre for e-Social Science (NCeSS), the anonymous reviewers of this paper and the special issue editors.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media B.V. 2006

Authors and Affiliations

  • Mike Fraser
    • 1
  • Jon Hindmarsh
    • 2
  • Katie Best
    • 2
  • Christian Heath
    • 2
  • Greg Biegel
    • 1
  • Chris Greenhalgh
    • 3
  • Stuart Reeves
    • 3
  1. 1.Department of Computer ScienceUniversity of BristolBristolUK
  2. 2.Work, Interaction and Technology Group, Department of ManagementKing’s College LondonLondonUK
  3. 3.The Mixed Reality Laboratory & Learning Sciences Research Institute, School of Computer Science & ITUniversity of NottinghamNottinghamUK

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