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  • SN-0009 Quick and Flexible Research Networks

This wiki space contains archival documentation of Project Bamboo, April 2008 - March 2013.

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Quick and Flexible Research Networks

Please fill in the following metadata about this narrative (and delete this line when finished!):

Collection Date: January 8, 2009
Scholar #1 Info: (if more than one scholar's process is described, copy this set for each scholar)

  • Name: Stan Ruecker
  • Email: sruecker@ualberta.ca
  • Title: Assistant Professor of English and Humanities Computing, English and Film Studies, Humanities Computing/Faculty of Arts
  • Institution/Organization: University of Alberta
  • Field of Study/Creative Endeavor:

Scholar #1 Info: (if more than one scholar's process is described, copy this set for each scholar)

  • Name: Geoffrey Rockwell
  • Email: geoffrey.rockwell@ualberta.ca
  • Title: Professor of Philosophy and Humanities Computing, Philosophy and Humanities Computing/Faculty of Arts
  • Institution/Organization: University of Alberta
  • Field of Study/Creative Endeavor:

Scholar #1 Info: (if more than one scholar's process is described, copy this set for each scholar)

  • Name: Maureen Engel
  • Email: maureen.engel@ualberta.ca
  • Title: E-Learning Manager, Faculty of Arts
  • Institution/Organization: University of Alberta
  • Field of Study/Creative Endeavor:

Collector Info (can be the same as "Scholar" above):

  • Name: same as above
  • Email:
  • Title:
  • Institution/Organization:

Notes on Methodology:

Please briefly describe the collection methods used (eg. "self report", "questionnaire", "ethnographic interview")

Scope

The scope section is provided by the collector, with input from the scholar(s), and attempts to estimate the scope of the group that performs the processes described: How broadly do the practices described in this narrative apply to others in same field, in related fields, etc?

  1. In the opinion of the scholar, who participates in the process the story describes?
    (e.g. "just this scholar", "many people in the scholar's field of inquiry", "all academics", etc.)
  2. What is this process intended to accomplish for the scholar?
  3. Who is the intended audience of the processes described?
  4. Is this the only process the scholar uses to accomplish his/her goals?
  5. What "shared services" would help transform the story into something of more benefit for the scholar or his/her audience?  What process or processes in the story could be automated?

What: Quick and Flexible Research Networks

I will often try to set up a a working group around an idea or project with a few grad students and colleagues. The colleagues might be at other institutions. These working groups are for new ideas for which we don't have grant funding to travel or pay for infrastructure to be set up. We need a mix of ways to communicate, share files, collaborate on writing grants. We need to be able to meet online regularly. We need to be able to set these up quickly and to be able to add communication tools as we need them. We need to be able to do this with a minimum of bureaucracy. We need to be able to close them down and archive stuff. Sometimes when we move we need to actually move the hair ball to another university.

How: Iterative scaling of a group research project

i. I meet Jean at a conference and we decide (over tea) that it would be neat to try a project together on X. She mentions she has a couple grad students who might be interested and I have a colleague.

ii. I get back and remembering the neat idea I e-mail her.

iii. We agree to look for funding and to do that we need to flesh out the idea. We bring on board the grad students. I ask for a discussion list to be set up. She creates a Google Document.

iv. We start iteratively writing the idea out.

v. We agree that we need to talk. Jean and I Skype, but then we can't include others. We can't afford to fly to meet so we decide to try some conferencing technology the campus is pushing. It is Elluminate this month. We book the room, get the account, figure it out. We use some online meeting organizer to find a common time. On the date I find that the local setup has been changed so Elluminate doesn't work because the Java libraries aren't right. My grad student e-mails the others while I try to find a technician. We find one and they fix the problem. The meeting is now late. But it sort of works.

vi. We agree that we need to give the project a name and a web presence especially since we got a little bit of money to run a half-day conference. I apply for an account on a research web server so my grad student can put up a simple web site.

Helps: Now I will do a number of things. I will apply for a discussion list (takes about 2 days to get permission and one set up.) I might apply to let people (at other universities) onto a wiki I have access to if we need shared writing space. Increasingly I have used Google Docs for shared documents. I have tried setting up a Ning group and that didn't work. I have also used Skype for one 2 one voice conferencing and Elluminate to try to do group to group conferencing. Skype works, but doesn't scale to groups. Elluminate with echo-canceling microphones sort of worked, but took a lot of support from staff. Access grid technology was beyond me.

Need: What I think I need is integration, better conferencing, and lower bureaucracy. I would like something a bit like Ning, but with Google Docs features and Skype-like conferencing. I would also like it to be simpler with the ability to turn things on as we go. (And to have no ads.)


Sections below have not been completed

Keywords

Please provide some keywords that will allow us to group or cluster related stories--or aspects of stories.

1. Was this story collected for a particular Bamboo working group?  If so, please include, as keywords, the appropriate group(s).

  • Education
  • Institutional Support
  • Scholarly Networking
  • Shared Services
  • Scholarly Narratives
  • Tools and Content Partners

2. Suggested keywords: Does this narrative contain elements that could be mapped to these keywords?  If so, please indicate which ones and briefly describe the mapping.  Add any additional keywords in #3. (These are global keywords from this page keywords)

3. Please list additional keywords here:

Narrative

Please include the text, documents, media, or other material which comprise this narrative

Other Comments:


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