In the ten weeks since our last update, quantitative analysis of the social networks of teams that have used the Mag Lab during the last few years has completed, led by co-PI Besiki Stvilia. This analysis is also being written up into an article we intend to submit for publication to a major information science journal shortly, led by Stvilia in conjunction with senior personnel Chris Hinnant, graduate research assistant Katy Schindler, and with input from the remainder of the team. We also intend to submit a poster proposal for the ASIST 2010 conference in Pittsburgh, PA.
Preparations for the observations have also continued. Co-PI Paul Marty has contacted some of the Mag Lab directors, and in conjunction with graduate research assistant Adam Worrall is in the process of meeting with them to discuss our plans. We hope that these meetings will allow us to discuss the teams who come to work in each department’s facilities, what collaborative discussions and activities we may be able to observe, and how this can be done relatively unobtrusively. Led by co-PI Michelle Kazmer, we have also recently constructed a list of interview questions and probes which will be able to guide the interview phase of our project. The observations should begin in earnest shortly, with the interviews to follow later in the summer. We have also posted a call for undergraduate or graduate students who might be interested in helping us with the observations and interviews as interns, receiving academic credit in return. This can be found in our recent Research Internship Opportunity post, and we welcome applications from interested students in any discipline.
Some of our other recent activities have included organizing and proposing a panel of NSF-funded VOSS projects at the ASIST 2010 conference, comprising of researchers from four such projects at Syracuse University, Penn State University, the University of Arkansas, and Florida State University. This proposal was led by co-PI Gary Burnett, who will serve as moderator of the panel if it is approved as part of the conference schedule. The four members of our team who will participate in the observation or interview phases of our study have also undergone the Mag Lab’s mandatory magnet safety training, Unfortunately, the retrospective content analysis of documentary artifacts from a small sample of teams mentioned in the previous update has been placed on the back burner during the last ten weeks, but we hope to be able to return to this part of the project and contact members of these teams shortly to obtain their permission.
We greatly appreciate the help of those who have already aided us with these important phases of our project, and hope those of you who we approach in the near future have the same enthusiasm and willingness to help! As with all our updates, if you have any questions, comments, or feedback about the project, our Web site, or our progress, please feel free to leave a comment below or contact us directly using the information at the bottom left of this page.