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E-Uptake: widening uptake of e-Infrastructure Services Marzieh Asgari-Targhi, Alex Voss, Rob Procter et al. ESRC National Centre for e-Social Science.

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Presentation on theme: "E-Uptake: widening uptake of e-Infrastructure Services Marzieh Asgari-Targhi, Alex Voss, Rob Procter et al. ESRC National Centre for e-Social Science."— Presentation transcript:

1 e-Uptake: widening uptake of e-Infrastructure Services Marzieh Asgari-Targhi, Alex Voss, Rob Procter et al. ESRC National Centre for e-Social Science

2 Session Overview  About the e-Uptake Project  Literature Review and Fieldwork  Typology and Repository of Findings  Fostering e-Infrastructures  From User-Designer Relations to Community Engagement

3 JISC Community Engagement

4 e-Uptake  Led by the ESRC National Centre for e-Social Science in collaboration with the National e-Science Centre and the Arts & Humanities e-Science Support Centre.  Remit: to widen the uptake of e-Research across all disciplines through research and intervention  Stakeholders: existing and potential service and technology providers, researchers, funders, etc.

5 Part 1: Literature Review and Fieldwork

6 Overview  Issues identified in the e-Science and innovation studies literature  Investigation of issues and enablers through fieldwork  Validation of existing knowledge and generating new findings

7 Existing Themes (I)  The following major areas have been identified in the literature:  What exactly constitutes e-infrastructure? Technology + social arrangements  Can we ‘build’ infrastructures or do we ‘foster’ them?  What does advanced computing offer science and engineering as well as social sciences or arts and humanities? Are there common themes?  How can e-Research be ‘embedded’ in practice and in education?  Integration of e-Infrastructure components into a coherent whole.

8 Existing Themes (II)  Data and related issues; accessing, curating, protection, sharing, standardising, security and confidentiality issues, etc.  Collaboration between application scientists & developers, what motivates people and how can it be made to work across distance and boundaries?  Global communities: how do we maximise the use of e-Infrastructures and applications to support new forms of scientific community?

9 Existing Themes (III)  e-Research is inherently multi-disciplinary.  Funding: Attracting funding for multi-disciplinary research in e-infrastructure is difficult  Organisational framework: How strategic investments and enabling policy can be combined to form an effective organisational framework?  Socio-ethical issues, how do we tackle the ethical and policy issues surrounding the use of e-Research?

10 Existing Themes (IV)  Legal issues, e.g., IPR, data protection  Spectrum of architectures runs from centrally organised and controlled to networks or linked systems  Managing local autonomy while providing reliable and predictable services  Measuring the success of e-Research and rewarding it.

11 Studying Uptake, Barriers & Enablers  Look beyond isolated, anecdotal, contingent or random problems  Aim to uncover recurring, widespread barriers that can be overcome by targeted interventions  Must reflect the diversity of the target population, their different interests and possible uses of services  Must sample adopters, non-adopters and service providers

12 Evidence  E-Uptake has conducted 50+ interviews  About 25 hours of audio + questionnaire data  Fieldwork continuing & approach being reviewed  Interviews being transcribed and coded  Metadata being applied and questionnaire data added  Building up a body of evidence and a typology of findings  Online repository of evidence of barriers and enablers  Analysis of training requirements based on existing longitudinal data collection

13 Coverage So Far  Underrepresentation, e.g., of research fellows  Level of awareness about 68% - bias towards early adopters  Next rounds of fieldwork will try to address this and will try to falsify emerging explanations of adoption processes, barriers and enablers

14 Training Requirements  Existing training requirements data (AHM, EGEE conferences, etc. – note bias in sample…)

15 Training Requirements (II)  Clear need for education, outreach and training on principles of e-Research  Training provision currently patchy  Question of timing, need to engage people when they are ready to make the next step  Need to tailor interventions to different communities

16 Part 2: Coding, Typology, Repository of Findings

17 e-Research Tools  Analytical approach being developed and CAQDAS tools (Atlas.ti, NVivo, etc.) considered  Interested in:  Non-proprietary file formats  Support for collaborative work  Integration of qualitative, quantitative and meta-data  Dynamic online presentation in a number of different forms for different stakeholders  Complex queries  Semi-automatic markup, meta-data generation and anonymisation

18 SQUAD  We are currently exploring use of SQUAD  Smart Qualitative Data: Methods and Community Tools for Data Mark-Up  Based on TEI – an XML application  Consequently: open & extensible 

19 e-Research Tools

20 Coding  Coding scheme initially based on earlier literature review  Being iteratively modified as analysis progresses  Hierarchical scheme with currently 166 codes  Link between formulations of barriers and evidence base  [Demo visual representation…]

21 Gathering and Analysing Evidence  Need to improve evidence gathering in the community  Current JISC community engagement activities provide a snapshot  Make data collection more routine  Turn evidence to insight to action  Use e-Research tools to facilitate this…

22 Part 3: Fostering e-Infrastructures

23 Embedding e-Infrastructures  As e-Infrastructure matures technically, the need to address issues of uptake and embedding in working practices becomes critical.

24 The Nature of e-Infrastructures  e-Infrastructures are complex socio-technical ensembles which are ‘fostered’ rather than ‘built’.  Changing the ‘social infrastructure’ requires interventions not traditionally associated with engineering and design.  These interventions are needed at different scales: local, organisational, national, international.  e-Infrastructure will not be sustained unless the technical and social infrastructures are aligned.

25 Fostering e-Infrastructures  Drawing on the findings, approaches and methods developed in other disciplines  Essentially an inter-disciplinary effort.  Relevant expertise exists:  software engineering,  social sciences (e.g., sociology, social anthropology, economics),  workplace studies (as in CSCW and PD),  science and technology studies, philosophy of science.

26 Fostering e-Infrastructures  Involvement from these disciplines has often been sporadic, marginal and too late rather than fundamental and strategic.  Aim for a more fundamental involvement in community engagement:  studying working practices and uptake,  building conceptual models and deriving policies,  devising plans for widening and deepening adoption  through targeted interventions, e.g., training, education, outreach, consultancy or user forums

27 Operationalising Lessons Learned  We need to find ways to operationalise lessons learned and make them part of the normal way of working for people working in e-Research.  The challenge lies in making approaches scale:  from single systems to distributed infrastructures,  to collaborative work in communities,  Involving heterogeneous and independent actors.

28 Part 4: From User-Designer Relations to Community Engagement

29 Models of Innovation  Linear: diffusion from laboratory into society – ‘build it and they will come’  Feedback and innovation in use  Socio-technical systems  Importance of local knowledge and practices  Users as stakeholders and experts  Designers as moderators/facilitators as well as technical experts  Configurations

30 User-Designer Relations  Need familiarity with the working practices and concerns of researchers  Researchers need to understand what is possible, what is feasible and what is not, what the tradeoff between different options are  Involves a degree of familiarity with the research domain and e- Research technologies. This can be achieved through:  Training (e.g., bioinformatics, Grid literacy)‏  Boundary spanning (e.g., researchers employed on projects)‏  Facilitation (e.g., consultancy, focus groups, workplace studies)‏  Shared practice (co-location, embedding, corealisation)‏

31 Issues‏  Traditional user engagement works:  in small groups  in relatively homogeneous groups  with (practically) aligned interests  in the design of well-described systems  serving well-defined purposes

32 Issues (II)‏  e-Infrastructures for research challenge this:  loosely coupled groups of people  with only partially and temporarily aligned interests  multidisciplinarity and scale of collaboration  problem of identifying possible adopters  and engaging them  representativeness  generic vs. specific functionality & support  configurations, not systems

33 …to Community Engagement  Managing user-designer relations beyond individual projects  Scaling to community level  Developing paths to adoption  and mechanisms to facilitate uptake  to widen uptake from ‘early adopters’ to the ‘interested’, to get the ‘disengaged’ interested and to convince the ‘sceptical’.

34 Paths to Wider Uptake Grand Challenges Capacity Computing / Grid Exceptional work Bespoke functionality Web 2.0 Social Grid Everyday work Common tools

35 Paths to Wider Uptake Grand Challenges Capacity Computing / Grid Exceptional work Bespoke functionality Web 2.0 Social Grid Everyday work Common tools Embedded e-Research Corealisation Routine innovation Functionality Mashup* *Charles Severance

36 Intervention  Closing the gaps between stages of engagement:  cf. EGEE Virtuous Cycle  Also OSS-Watch model

37 Community Engagement (II)‏  Interventions: outreach, education, training, consultancy  These elements need to be tied together  Lack of an obvious (single) point of contact  Need a professional triage service?

38 Tracking Developments

39 Community Engagement: Mapping  Establish baseline understanding of e- Science communities: people, projects, activities and relationships.  e-Uptake is using web-mining to harvest information from research council websites, conference proceedings, etc, map of e-Science communities and track engagement over time.

40 Mixed Methods  Need to employ a mixture of methods for data collection, engagement, requirements negotiation and validation  Interviews establish existence of issues  Design ethnographies provides detailed understanding  Surveys establish relevance across a wider population  Particular set of skills falls between computer science and social sciences

41 Programme – Project Relations  Effective community engagement is expensive, therefore best done at programme level  Have common approach to common issues so projects can focus in specifics  Raises the questions of programme – project relations  Need to coordinate between project-level and programme-level activities  Sustained funding for these activities

42 Programme – Project Relations (II)  For example:  Community engagement projects have common framework of understanding  Common consent process enabling data sharing  Coordinated approach to identifying candididate respondents, doing interviews, managing data and analysis  Common dissemination activities

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