Social scientists, documents and cyberinfrastructure: The Cobbler's children or the missing masses?

Elizabeth Kaziunas, Steve Sawyer, Carsten Østerlund

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contribution

Abstract

A limited understanding of the distributed work practices of social scientists impedes current efforts to develop cyberinfrastructure (CI) that meets the needs of these scholars. In this paper we review literature on the theory, organization, collaborative practices, and epistemic cultures of the social sciences to summarize fundamental characteristics about the nature of their work practices. Building off these insights, we advance a document-centered articulation of social scientists' distributed work practices derived from a pilot study of scholars in the field of information studies. We use a mixed-methodological approach involving the mapping of digital and physical documents, automated tracking of desktop and online repositories, participant-generated images of physical documents and desktop, behavioral queries, along with interviews and participant observation. Our findings suggest that an approach focused on documents offers a tangible entree into understanding the distributed work practices of social scientists. This study aims to help further discussion surrounding the uptake of CI in the social sciences and the role of academic disciplines in the design of CI tools and projects.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationProceedings of the 2011 iConference
Subtitle of host publicationInspiration, Integrity, and Intrepidity, iConference 2011
Pages166-173
Number of pages8
DOIs
StatePublished - Mar 18 2011
Event6th Annual Conference on 2011 iConference: Inspiration, Integrity, and Intrepidity, iConference 2011 - Seattle, WA, United States
Duration: Feb 8 2011Feb 11 2011

Publication series

NameACM International Conference Proceeding Series

Other

Other6th Annual Conference on 2011 iConference: Inspiration, Integrity, and Intrepidity, iConference 2011
CountryUnited States
CitySeattle, WA
Period2/8/112/11/11

Keywords

  • Cyberinfrastructure
  • Distributed work
  • Social sciences
  • e-Social Science

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Software
  • Human-Computer Interaction
  • Computer Vision and Pattern Recognition
  • Computer Networks and Communications

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  • Cite this

    Kaziunas, E., Sawyer, S., & Østerlund, C. (2011). Social scientists, documents and cyberinfrastructure: The Cobbler's children or the missing masses? In Proceedings of the 2011 iConference: Inspiration, Integrity, and Intrepidity, iConference 2011 (pp. 166-173). (ACM International Conference Proceeding Series). https://doi.org/10.1145/1940761.1940784