Can scientific collaboration survive in networked world?

Did it also happened to you, that you were participating in a conference or a workshop, you met some wonderful scientists with who you would like to work, but once event was over you lost the connection? Or you were a part of a project, you were engaged in a research together with great people, but once the project ends there are no more funds to continue meetings and you can’t manage to stay in touch? Would you like to find a way to continue the collaboration?

That is the clue of my research: I study a group of scientist who are involved in a training programme in the domain of metrology in chemistry. The project started several years ago, it was flourishing for a long time, but now, when there is less and less funding, scientists find it more and more difficult to meet and work together. There is a great potential in the group, but it can’t be used when they can’t collaborate. What they need is a way to sustain the collaboration that was build over the years.

The aim of the research is to deeply study the learning needs and learning cycles in the group. To do it I built a set of tools: observation grids, interviews scenarios and questionnaires. After analysing  the results I can define the conditions and the criteria for building an online collaboration platform. The process of research itself engages the participants. They feel responsible for the tool that is created. They feel it is made for them and by them, so they use it more freely. I am not suggesting just another platform, there are already more than people have time to use them. I propose an online space which can bridge time zones and geographical locations. An online tool which can answer the learning needs of the participants and help them to overcome some limitations.

All the tools and models created in this research could be used for other groups of scientists who want to sustain their collaboration, but they don’t have ability to meet face to face often or at all. Maybe it could be useful also for you?

About the Author

Joanna JesionkowskaJoanna Jesionkowska is an early stage researcher, she did her research in Joint Research Center, European Commission in Geel, Belgium. Currently she is finishing her PhD at the faculty of Psychology and Education, University of Liege in Belgium.
She holds a Master’s Degrees in Analytical Chemistry and in Psychology, and she combines the knowledge from those two domains in her research.
Her research interests focus on collaborative learning and knowledge creation, knowledge management, with specific emphasis on communities of practice.

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