HCDE Professor Charlotte Lee recently co-edited a special volume of Computer Supported Cooperative Work (CSCW), published in August 2010. The issue, entitled Sociotechnical Studies of Cyberinfrastructure and e-Research: Supporting Collaborative Research, was guest edited by Charlotte P. Lee, David Ribes (Georgetown University), Matthew J. Bietz (HCDE Affiliate Faculty), Helena Karasti (University of Oulu), and Marina Jirotka (Oxford e-Research Centre).
The emphasis in the sciences on large-scale and long-term support for collaboration is gaining momentum. Cyberinfrastructure is heralded as a transformative force, enabling new forms of investigation and cross-disciplinary collaboration. In their introduction, Lee and Ribes discussed current themes and trends in CSCW, and presented the themes of Cyberinfrastructure (CI) studies as follows:
- integration of heterogeneity
- scaling up or extension
- human work and technological delegation
- always already social of CI
Lee and Ribes noted that the six articles in this special issue are dedicated to the detailed empirical exploration of CI systems, their development, and the changes that are emerging at the intersection of novel information technologies and everyday research practice and said, "This is an exciting time for Cyberinfrastructure (CI) studies. Research is occurring in new and unexpected places, drawing on and bringing together the traditions of CSCW, information science, organizational studies, and science and technology studies."
In the same issue, Lee also co-authored an article with Matthew Bietz (HCDE Affiliate Faculty) and Eric Baumer (UC-Irvine), "Synergizing in Cyberinfrastructure Development," in which they investigated the work of creating infrastructure, using as a case study the development of cyberinfrastructure for metagenomics research. Specifically, the analysis focuses on how embeddedness is not only an important result of infrastructure development, but is also a precursor that can act as both a constraint and a resource for development activities."
Information about the entire issue is available on the Springer website. Computer Supported Cooperative Work, published by Springer, presents research and discussions regarding the theoretical, practical, technical, and social issues in the field of CSCW.