Joanna Ptolomey Collaborative research: behaving badly?
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Monday, 27th September 2010 Sign in to MyJinfo or create an account be able to star items Printable version Subscribe via RSS to get updates as soon as Blog items are added

By Joanna Ptolomey

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As an information professional and a FUMSI contributing editor I am always fascinated by the differing ways that people discover, access, use, create, share and disseminate information. Perhaps as a herd we may follow a particular pathway or protocol. Perhaps your protocol has been established by a particular tribe that you belong to? For example, 'I work in the STM sector in an academic institution and this is how we do things?' However, much research these days is done collaboratively, and that is where issues can arise. Within organisations or tribes protocols for handling the research process can be very well-established. The workflow patterns and methodologies may be set in stone. But what if there are collaborative partners, how do you then manage the research process and workflow? How do you take into account differing ways of ‘doing stuff’ and managing the workflow, never mind working together to reach useful outcomes. The Research Information Network (RIN) and the British Library wants answers to these questions too. They are commissioning a series of case studies that will ‘enhance the understanding of information behaviours and needs in the course of research collaborations’. These collaborations will be between the higher education institutions and the public, voluntary or commercial sector partners. The outcomes focus on three areas • How researchers manage discovery, access, use, creation, sharing and dissemination of information sources with the research projects and with external partners • Providing comparisons between the behaviours and needs of researchers in different types of collaborations • Identifying barriers to more effective use of information in collaborations, and provide recommendations. The project has partners from the British Library Science, Technology and Medicine (STM) team, and it is expected that several of the case studies will focus upon STM disciplines. With a project budget of £100,000 consortia applications are currently being sought. The deadline for responses is 5 October (http://digbig.com/5bcmbw). Here at FreePint we think FUMSI (Find, Use, Manage, Share Information) is key to the success for creating better outcomes for the information sector. Working together better and not reinventing the wheel at every turn is a great start. I look forward to the insights that these case studies will hopefully bring – it should have messages for us all looking to FUMSI better.

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