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Title: Holistic model for knowledge collaboration in scientific communities of practice
Author: Mihindu, S.
ISNI:       0000 0004 2696 5150
Awarding Body: University of Salford
Current Institution: University of Salford
Date of Award: 2010
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This research sets out to develop a holistic model for Knowledge Collaboration for scientific Communities of Practice (CoP). It, inter alia, investigates appropriate methods which support Knowledge Collaboration of Scientific Community of Practice (SCoP). It also identifies the main challenges associated with supporting Knowledge Collaboration and ways of addressing specific challenges in the development of a Knowledge Collaboration Environment (KCE) within SCoP. In addition, it establishes how individuals within CoP and groups associated with CoP create new knowledge in collaboration. The necessity for scientific communities to work as CoP has significantly risen in recent years. The requirement of standard collaboration and communication tools, and appropriate methodologies to author KCEs has been an important development for the success of Distributed Knowledge Collaboration (DKC) activities of scientific CoP. The study addresses key issues and gaps found in four different areas: understanding of knowledge and Knowledge Collaboration, KCEs, tools and techniques for supporting Knowledge Collaboration, and specific requirements of scientific communities. The thesis employed a multi-methodological approach in conducting the study, which included the use of questionnaire, workshop, observations, interviews, and focus groups in obtaining data on which the study was based. SCoP refers to those who employ the 'scientific method' for seeking, interrogating, and creating processes and systems in conducting and advancing their work. Knowledge Collaboration needs of SCoP are different to the needs of CoP as members of the SCoP come from diverse backgrounds and disciplines, and their involvement is with heterogeneous work environments. A holistic Knowledge System Model (KSM) and a live prototype to establish the requirements related to the facilitation of Knowledge Collaboration within a SCoP was developed and validated. This development utilises non-intrusive technologies to provide appropriate incorporation of collaboration tools within their work environment and the potential of multiple server integration. The KSM provides the required flexibility and configurability within a prospective Knowledge System due to its ability to fulfil specific needs of the SCoP. The study recommends that members of the SCoP require Knowledge Collaboration tools that can co-exist within their work environment but operate non-intrusively within their professional work setting. Virtual Infrastructure integration provides the required functionality to overcome the challenges of creating an appropriate KCE for realising successful collaboration. The KSM facilitates the development of appropriate KCE for SCoP. There is paramount value in embracing the holistic view of Knowledge Collaboration as defined through the Knowledge Collaboration terminology stack and vast potential in utilising non-intrusive client/server technology for DKC applications. The holistic model's flexibility provides timely provision of an acceptable KCE for community collaboration.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available