Interacting with Cyberinfrastructure Study

Interacting with Cyberinfrastructure in the Face of Changing Science

Funded by NSF Award IIS-0954088, the National Science Foundation CAREER Award for Promising Young Scholars.

This research will develop a framework to understand the set of sociotechnical relationships that comprise cyberinfrastructure (CI). The technical challenges of cyberinfrastructure are already so demanding that projects often have little time to engage reflexively on how cyberinfrastructures are used and created in the current state of rapid scientific change in which the necessity of data sharing and multidisciplinary approaches is putting pressure on disciplinary boundaries. This project will investigate: How scientists and engineers decide which cyberinfrastructure resources (e.g. databases and tools) to use and under what circumstances; Under what circumstances do scientists and engineers decide to create their own resources; How are scientists and engineers mixing disciplinary practices within their own laboratories; When do scientists and engineers adopt hybrid identities (e.g. computational biologists and bioinformaticists).

Project History

The Interacting with Cyberinfrastructure in the Face of Changing Science project began in Autumn 2010. Throughout the first year approximately 350 leading researchers at the University of Washington were surveyed about their scientific research practice, educational activities, technology usage, and data sharing activities. Based on an analysis of the results approximately 45 researchers were contacted for a followup interview regarding their research.

Currently in its fifth year the Interacting with Cyberinfrastructure in the Face of Changing Science study has enrolled six different research groups as study sites. The disciplines of these six groups range from biological sciences to astronomy and seismology. Examining the work of the six groups, this research is currently examining how data and software artifacts support the collaborative work of these scientists. Specifically the research team is probing how different sources of data may help to structure collaborative work by using the concept of coordinative artifacts from the field of CSCW. Doctoral Candidate Drew Paine’s dissertation research is also taking place under this grant to more deeply examine the connections between research practice and software practice in the hard sciences. To facilitate all this understanding the research team is conducting observations of the six research group’s work activities and interviewing the research teams about their work.

Study Human Subjects Information

The IRB for this study has been closed. Additional research activities involving human subjects are not being conducted for this project.

If you are a member of one of the research groups enrolled in the study and would like to verify your responses please contact Drew Paine using the information provided in any of the above forms. Please note that we cannot guarantee the confidentiality of information sent via email.

NSF Disclaimer

This material is based upon work supported by the National Science Foundation under Grant Number IIS-0954088. Any opinions, findings, and conclusions or recommendations expressed in this material are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily reflect the views of the National Science Foundation.