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Computer Supported Cooperative Work 14

Editors:Kjeld Schmidt
Publisher:Springer Verlag
Standard No:ISSN 0925-9724
Links:springerlink.metapress.com | Table of Contents
  1. JCSCW 2005 Volume 14 Issue 1
  2. JCSCW 2005 Volume 14 Issue 2
  3. JCSCW 2005 Volume 14 Issue 3
  4. JCSCW 2005 Volume 14 Issue 4
  5. JCSCW 2005 Volume 14 Issue 5
  6. JCSCW 2005 Volume 14 Issue 6

JCSCW 2005 Volume 14 Issue 1

Creating Assemblies in Public Environments: Social Interaction, Interactive Exhibits and CSCW BIBAKFull-Text 1-41
  Jon Hindmarsh; Christian Heath; Dirk Vom Lehn; Jason Cleverly
This paper examines the use of a series of three low tech interactive assemblies that have been exhibited by the authors in a range of fairs, expositions and galleries. The paper does not present novel technical developments, but rather uses the low tech assemblies to help scope out the design space for CSCW in museums and galleries and to investigate the ways in which people collaboratively encounter and explore technological exhibits in museums and galleries. The bulk of the paper focuses on the analysis of the use of one interactive installation that was exhibited at the Sculpture, Objects and Functional Art (SOFA) Exposition in Chicago, USA. The study uses audio-visual recordings of interaction with and around the work to consider how people, in and through their interaction with others, make sense of an assembly of traditional objects and video technologies. The analysis focuses on the organised practices of assembly and how assembling the relationship between different parts of the work is interactionally accomplished. The analysis is then used to develop a series of design sensitivities to inform the development of technological assemblies to engender informal interaction and sociability in museums and galleries.
Keywords: art - assemblies - design sensitivities - ethnography - interactive exhibits - museums - social interaction - video
ICT and Integrated Care: Some Dilemmas of Standardising Inter-Organisational Communication BIBAKFull-Text 43-67
  Brit Ross Winthereik; Signe Vikkelso
There is a growing interest in the issues of how to organise healthcare work along individual patient cases rather than along the demarcation lines of healthcare organisations. Health information systems, such as electronic patient records, are seen as important change agents, since they are asserted to help the coordination of care across organisations through fast and accurate exchange of clinical data. The paper explores how a semi-standardised discharge letter is employed to communicate about the patient between two organisational settings, the hospital and the general practitioner. It is shown that the discharge letter plays a double role as informational tool and accounting device. And it is argued that further standardisation of the discharge letter content - in order to facilitate electronic exchange - is likely to strengthen the letters role as a tool for organisational accountability and weaken it as a clinical tool. The paper concludes that this finding adds to the theoretical understanding of how computers support cooperative work, and that understanding how healthcare professionals present themselves as accountable and trustworthy should be of major concern when designing healthcare ICTs.
Keywords: accountability - communication - coordination - discharge letters - ICT - integrated care - standardisation - STS

Book Review

Book Review: Where the Action Is: The Foundations of Embodied Interaction, Paul Dourish, MIT Press, Cambridge, 2001, 256 pp. ISBN 0-262-04196-0 BIBFull-Text 69-77
  Matthew Chalmers
Book Review: Distributed Work, Pamela J. Hinds and Sara Kiesler (eds.), MIT Press, Cambridge, 2002, 475 pp. ISBN 0-262-08305-1 BIBFull-Text 79-85
  Jaakkotul Virkkunentftul
Book Review: Social Thinking - Software Practice, Yvonne Dittrich, Christiane Floyd and Ralf Klischewski (eds.), MIT Press, Cambridge, 2002 BIBFull-Text 87-90
  Paul Dourish

JCSCW 2005 Volume 14 Issue 2

Beyond Bandwidth: Dimensions of Connection in Interpersonal Communication BIBAKFull-Text 91-130
  Bonnie A. Nardi
Computer-mediated communication (CMC) is a keystone of computer-supported collaborative work. Current CMC theory utilizes an information channel metaphor in which media vary according to how well they afford the transfer of messages in the channel, i.e., bandwidth. This paper draws attention to a different aspect of communication argued to be equally important: a relation between people that defines a state of communicative readiness in which fruitful communication is likely. Drawing on research on instant messaging (Nardi et al., 2000) and face to face communication (Nardi et al., 2002; Nardi and Whittaker, 2003), as well as related literature, three dimensions of connection that activate readiness are proposed: affinity, commitment, and attention. These dimensions comprise a field of connection between dyads. A field of connection is conceptualized as a labile, multidimensional space in which the values of the dimensions vary according to the history of communicative activity. Affinity, commitment, and attention are constantly monitored, negotiated, and managed through social bonding, expression of commitment, and capture of attention. The management of fields of connection requires significant interactional work to sustain communication over time.
Keywords: affinity - attention - commitment - computer-mediated communication - interpersonal communication - social connection
Mobility Work: The Spatial Dimension of Collaboration at a Hospital BIBAKFull-Text 131-160
  Jakob E. Bardram; Claus Bossen
We posit the concept of Mobility Work to describe efforts of moving about people and things as part of accomplishing tasks. Mobility work can be seen as a spatial parallel to the concept of articulation work proposed by the sociologist Anselm Strauss. Articulation work describes efforts of coordination necessary in cooperative work, but focuses, we argue, mainly on the temporal aspects of cooperative work. As a supplement, the concept of mobility work focuses on the spatial aspects of cooperative work. Whereas actors seek to diminish the amount of articulation work needed in collaboration by constructing Standard Operation Procedures (SOPs), actors minimise mobility work by constructing Standard Operation Configurations (SOCs). We apply the concept of mobility work to the ethnography of hospital work, and argue that mobility arises because of the need to get access to people, places, knowledge and/or resources. To accomplish their work, actors have to make the right configuration of these four aspects emerge.
Keywords: Anselm Strauss - collaboration - hospitals - mobility - mobility work - standard operating configuration
Words about Images: Coordinating Community in Amateur Photography BIBAKFull-Text 161-188
  Rebecca E. Grinter
This paper describes how the adoption of digital technologies by two amateur photography communities created coordination challenges. Digital technologies disrupted the classification schemes used not just to sort images into groups for competition, but also served to coordinate the community itself. In opening up the classification scheme, members were able to see and reflect on the sources used to establish the definitions that sorted images and organised their practices not just locally but more widely across various boundaries. Without having words about images, both amateur photography communities would have struggled to coordinate.
Keywords: amateur communities - classification

JCSCW 2005 Volume 14 Issue 3

The Electronic Laboratory Journal: A Collaborative and Cooperative Learning Environment for Web-Based Experimentation BIBAKFull-Text 189-216
  Georgios John Fakas; Anh Vu Nguyen; Denis Gillet
Numerous tools have been developed for supporting the collaboration between students in education, tools that mainly include facilities for sharing documents and enabling discussions. However, these environments do not emphasize the use of facilities that sustain collaborative work in the framework of remote experimentation carried out by a group of students located at different places. The Electronic Laboratory Journal (eJournal) paradigm proposed in this paper is a collaborative and cooperative environment for Web-based experimentation in engineering education. The eJournal enhances the traditional laboratory journal, by providing a group of students with Web-based tools to collect, annotate, organize and share the data chunks necessary to complete their experimentation assignments. The data chunks, called fragments, may be composed of numerous objects of any format, such as text, images, graphics, manuscripts, measurement logs or experimental results. Fragments can be uploaded from local disks or imported from Web components. The eJournal also handles the submission of results to the educators and facilitates remote supervision, assistance and tutoring of the students. The eJournal paradigm is currently assessed at the School of Engineering, the Ecole Polytechnique Federale de Lausanne (EPFL), in the framework of hands-on experimentation activities focusing on remote manipulation of real setups and Web-based simulation. This paper presents the eJournal environment, its application and its evaluation as an enabling Web-based application for flexible learning.
Keywords: cooperative learning - collaborative learning - distance learning - knowledge engineering - remote experimentation - World Wide Web
Moving with the Times: IT Research and the Boundaries of CSCW BIBAKFull-Text 217-251
  Andy Crabtree; Tom Rodden; Steve Benford
The field of CSCW research emerged with the development of distributed computing systems and attempts to understand the socially organized ('collaborative' or 'cooperative') nature of work in order to embed such systems in the workplace. As a field of interdisciplinary inquiry CSCW was motivated by technological developments and the need to understand the particular contexts within which those developments were intended to resonate. In other words, it is no mere accident that CSCW took work as its topic and resource - the historical nature of IT research from which the field emerged meant that for all practical purposes it could not be otherwise. Yet times change. IT research moves on. Today mobile, ambient, pervasive, ubiquitous, mixed reality and wearable computing, et cetera, are of fundamental concern to the contemporary computing research community. Furthermore, these developments are accompanied by a movement away from the workplace to focus on diverse settings in everyday life: homes, games, museums, photography, tourism, performances, indeed diverse bodies of people and pursuits that generally fall under the conceptual rubric of the 'ludic'. Accompanying this shift away from work is a call for new approaches and concepts that will enable researchers to better understand the ludic and inform design appropriately. In this paper we seek to address the boundaries of CSCW and the ability of CSCW to respond to contemporary research agendas. We present an ethnomethodological study of a location-based mixed reality game to demonstrate the continued relevance of CSCW approaches and concepts to contemporary agendas in IT research.
Keywords: CSCW - ethnomethodology - IT research - ludic pursuits - mixed reality game
Collaboration Among Designers: Analysing an Activity for System Development BIBAKFull-Text 253-282
  Kristina Lauche
Workplace studies provide an important input to system development, yet there is no straightforward way of translating empirical results into requirements. This study contributes to the development of methods by reporting an activity theory based approach consisting of (i) field observations, (ii) modelling and (iii) a specific task analysis for system requirements. The research informed the further development of the Build-it system, a multi-user system designed to support co-located interaction between designers in engineering and architecture, and other stakeholders such as clients, operators, or inhabitants. The background research was conducted in four engineering companies and comprised of meeting observations, a questionnaire on design collaboration (n=94) and the analysis of 20 artefacts. The findings indicate that collaboration is of critical importance to the design process, and at least some of the tasks in engineering design could be supported by a system like Build-it. The task analysis for system requirements involved potential users from engineering but extended the scope to other domains, namely architecture and chemical process engineering (n=22). In all three domains a multi-user system like Build-it would be advantageous; however, the specific requirements varied more than expected. The study critically reflects on the use of generic concepts and the process of conducting research for the purpose of understanding work for design.
Keywords: activity theory - collaborative design - research methods - tabletop systems - understanding work for design

Book Review

Book review: The Locales Framework: Understanding and Designing for Wicked Problems, Geraldine Fitzpatrick, (ed.), The Kluwer International Series on Computer Supported Cooperative Work 2003, 254 pp. Hardcover ISBN: 1-4020-1190-3 BIBFull-Text 283-285
  Paul Dourish
Book Review: Public and Situated Displays: Social and Interactional Aspects of Shared Display Technologies, Kenton O'Hara, Mark Perry, Elizabeth Churchill and Daniel Russell (eds.), The Kluwer International Series on Computer Supported Cooperative Work, 2003, 456 pp. ISBN 1-4020-1677-8 BIBFull-Text 287-291
  Carl Gutwin
Book Review: Tracing Genres through Organizations. A Sociocultural Approach to Information Design, Clay Spinuzzi, MIT Press, Cambridge, MA, 2003, 264 pp. ISBN 0-262-19491-0 BIBFull-Text 293-296
  Hubert Knoblauch
Book Review: Computer-Supported Collaboration with Applications to Software Development, Fadi P. Deek and James A. M. McHugh, The Kluwer International Series in Engineering and Computer Science, 2003, 264 pp. ISBN 1-4020-7385-2 BIBFull-Text 297-299
  Yvonne Rogers

JCSCW 2005 Volume 14 Issue 4

Conceptualizing the Awareness of Collaboration: A Qualitative Study of a Global Virtual Team BIBAKFull-Text 301-322
  Piritta Leinonen; Sanna Jarvela; Paivi Hakkinen
Innovative organizations are increasing their use of distributed teamwork, but there are several difficulties in reaching shared understanding between the team members in these settings. A lack of awareness of other team members' working processes is one of the drawbacks that a virtual team may face while attempting to collaborate on a shared task. In this study virtual teamwork was supported with a specific working model. The aim was to investigate virtual team members' awareness of collaboration. One global team (N=19) within a single organization worked as a distributed team in a shared web-based workspace for three months. The data were gathered by means of questionnaires, log-files of the shared virtual workspace and collected company documents in order to find out how team members perceive their collaboration. Based on qualitative data analysis, three different aspects of collaboration awareness were identified: an awareness of the possibility for collaboration, an awareness of the aims of collaboration, and an awareness of the process of collaboration. The results presented in this paper give guidelines for discussing what the awareness of collaboration means in the context of distributed collaboration.
Keywords: awareness of collaboration - Computer Supported Collaborative Learning - Computer Supported Cooperative Work - distributed team - social cognition - virtual teamwork
Socialization in an Open Source Software Community: A Socio-Technical Analysis BIBAKFull-Text 323-368
  Nicolas Ducheneaut
Open Source Software (OSS) development is often characterized as a fundamentally new way to develop software. Past analyses and discussions, however, have treated OSS projects and their organization mostly as a static phenomenon. Consequently, we do not know how these communities of software developers are sustained and reproduced over time through the progressive integration of new members. To shed light on this issue I report on my analyses of socialization in a particular OSS community. In particular, I document the relationships OSS newcomers develop over time with both the social and material aspects of a project. To do so, I combine two mutually informing activities: ethnography and the use of software specially designed to visualize and explore the interacting networks of human and material resources incorporated in the email and code databases of OSS. Socialization in this community is analyzed from two perspectives: as an individual learning process and as a political process. From these analyses it appears that successful participants progressively construct identities as software craftsmen, and that this process is punctuated by specific rites of passage. Successful participants also understand the political nature of software development and progressively enroll a network of human and material allies to support their efforts. I conclude by discussing how these results could inform the design of software to support socialization in OSS projects, as well as practical implications for the future of these projects.
Keywords: actor-network - learning - Open Source - socialization - software development
Collaboration and Trust in Healthcare Innovation: The eDiaMoND Case Study BIBAKFull-Text 369-398
  Marina Jirotka; Rob Procter; Mark Hartswood; Roger Slack; Andrew Simpson; Catelijne Coopmans; Chris Hinds; Alex Voss
This paper presents findings from an investigation into requirements for collaboration in e-Science in the context of eDiaMoND, a Grid-enabled prototype system intended in part to support breast cancer screening. Detailed studies based on ethnographic fieldwork reveal the importance of accountability and visibility of work for trust and for the various forms of 'practical ethical action' in which clinicians are seen to routinely engage in this setting. We discuss the implications of our findings, specifically for the prospect of using distributed screening to make more effective use of scarce clinical skills and, more generally, for realising the Grid's potential for sharing data within and across institutions. Understanding how to afford trust and to provide adequate support for ethical concerns relating to the handling of sensitive data is a particular challenge for e-Health systems and for e-Science in general. Future e-Health and e-Science systems will need to be compatible with the ways in which trust is achieved, and practical ethical actions are realised and embedded within work practices.
Keywords: collaboration - trust - healthcare - grid - breast-screening

JCSCW 2005 Volume 14 Issue 5

The Metamorphoses of Workflow Projects in their Early Stages BIBAKFull-Text 399-432
  Thomas Herrmann; Marcel Hoffmann
Empirical studies on workflow usually focus on systems which have already been introduced and on the problems which occur with these systems if exceptional cases differ from the regular business processes. This study focuses on the problems that occur in the early stages of projects intended to introduce workflow systems but which do not inevitably succeed. In most cases the companies under investigation eventually introduced other types of software, or the business processes were merely analysed and improved but not automated during the project. We explain this phenomenon by referring to Orlikowski's concept of metamorphoses which analysed organizational change under conditions of groupware usage. A number of empirical details in our study of seven companies during a 4-year period can be related to this concept as well as to literature on workflow. In our ex-post study of the workflow projects we concluded that paradoxically starting with a workflow project might be an appropriate way of introducing improvement in cooperation and coordination without using workflow management technology and that concepts for flexible workflow technology are of minor relevance for this improvement.
Keywords: business processes - flexibility - process modelling - project management - workflow-management system
When Plans do not Work Out: How Plans are Used in Software Development Projects BIBAKFull-Text 433-468
  Kari Ronkko; Yvonne Dittrich; Dave Randall
Based on empirical material from the area of software engineering, this article discusses the issue of plans and planning as an integral part of and prerequisite for software development work. It relates observed practices to literature produced by the Computer Supported Cooperative Work community. Empirical studies of software development practice seldom address re-planning. By analyzing the empirical material from one project we are able to show how certain kinds of co-ordination problems arise and how they may be dealt with. The empirical research does not focus primarily on the character of plans; instead, it raises the question 'what means are necessary and should be provided in order to cope with situations when plans do not work out? In relation to plans, especial emphasis is on "due process", i.e. how the project plan and the company wide project model are maintained to enable the identification and articulation of deviations from it. On the basis of our empirical analysis we propose to support the articulation and coordination work necessary in situations where plans do not adequately work out.
Keywords: articulation work - due process - plans - project management - software engineering
Supporting Adaptable Consistency Control in Structured Collaborative Workspaces BIBAKFull-Text 469-503
  Yi Yang; Du Li
Consistency control is a critical issue in collaborative systems. Supporting flexible consistency control in particular matches the dynamic and situated needs of cooperative work. However, previous approaches generally provide only limited flexibility due to their static binding between shared data objects and consistency control protocols. We propose a component-based framework that allows for the runtime plug-n-play of consistency protocols in collaborative systems. We model data and protocols in a way such that they are cleanly separated and can be dynamically bound at run time to achieve flexible control. Data-protocol bindings can happen at the property, object, and workspace levels. The framework provides reusable services for implementing adaptable consistency control in a range of collaborative workspace applications.
Keywords: adaptability - collaborative workspace - component-based groupware - consistency control - flexibility - groupware framework - runtime plug-n-play - system design

JCSCW 2005 Volume 14 Issue 6

Over the Shoulder Learning: Supporting Brief Informal Learning BIBAKFull-Text 505-547
  Michael B. Twidale
The paper reviews work on informal technical help giving between colleagues. It concentrates on the process of how colleagues help each other to use a computer application to achieve a specific work task, contrasting this with the focus of much prior work on surrounding issues like the choice of whom to ask, information re-use and the larger work context of encouragement or otherwise of such learning. By an analysis of the literature and a study of office activity, some strengths and weaknesses of the method are identified. The difficulties of talking about the process of performing graphical user interface actions are explored. Various design implications for functionalities to improve the efficiency of informal help giving are explored. A consideration of informal learning can help in designing more effective, learnable, robust and acceptable CSCW systems. It also provides a different perspective on interface design as an exploration of features to support human-human interaction, using the computer screen as a shared resource to support this. In this way CSCW research may contribute to HCI research, since during such help giving, all computer systems are at least temporarily collaborative applications.
Keywords: computer supported collaborative learning - help giving - informal learning - interface design - workplace learning
Discovering Social Networks from Event Logs BIBAKFull-Text 549-593
  Wil M. P. van der Aalst; Hajo A. Reijers; Minseok Song
Process mining techniques allow for the discovery of knowledge based on so-called "event logs", i.e., a log recording the execution of activities in some business process. Many information systems provide such logs, e.g., most WFM, ERP, CRM, SCM, and B2B systems record transactions in a systematic way. Process mining techniques typically focus on performance and control-flow issues. However, event logs typically also log the performer, e.g., the person initiating or completing some activity. This paper focuses on mining social networks using this information. For example, it is possible to build a social network based on the hand-over of work from one performer to the next. By combining concepts from workflow management and social network analysis, it is possible to discover and analyze social networks. This paper defines metrics, presents a tool, and applies these to a real event log within the setting of a large Dutch organization.
Keywords: business process management - data mining - Petri nets - process mining - social network analysis - workflow management