JCSCW Vol. 19 (2010)

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  • Journal Article
    PeerCare: Supporting Awareness of Rhythms and Routines for Better Aging in Place
    (Computer Supported Cooperative Work (CSCW): Vol. 19, No. 1, 40210) Riche, Yann; Mackay, Wendy
    Caring for the elderly is becoming a key challenge for society, given the shortage of trained personnel and the increased age of the population. Innovative approaches are needed to help the elderly remain at home longer and more safely, that is, to age in place . One popular strategy is to monitor the activity of the elderly: this focuses on obtaining information for caregivers rather than supporting the elderly directly. We propose an alternative, i.e. to enhance their inter-personal communication. We report the results of a user study with 14 independent elderly women and discuss the existing role that communication plays in maintaining their independence and well-being. We highlight the importance of peer support relationships, which we call PeerCare, and how awareness of each other’s rhythms and routines helps them to stay in touch. We then describe the deployment of a technology probe, called markerClock , which a pair of elderly friends used to improve their awareness of each other’s rhythms and routines. We conclude with a discussion of how such communication appliances enhance the awareness of rhythms and routines among elderly peers and can improve their quality of life and provide safer and more satisfying aging in place.
  • Journal Article
    Prescriptions, X-rays and Grocery Lists. Designing a Personal Health Record to Support (The Invisible Work Of) Health Information Management in the Household
    (Computer Supported Cooperative Work (CSCW): Vol. 19, No. 6, 40513) Piras, Enrico Maria; Zanutto, Alberto
    For many years the introduction of Electronic Health Records (EHRs) in medical practice has been considered the best way to provide efficient document sharing among different organizational settings. The actual results of these technologies, though, do not seem to have matched expectations. The issue of document sharing has been lately readdressed by proposing the creation of patient-controlled information and communication technologies, Personal Health Records (PHRs), providing laypeople the tools to access, manage and share their health information electronically by connecting to the existing EHRs and other institutional information systems. In this scenario, patients are called to play a major role in coordinating healthcare professionals by providing them the information they need. From a CSCW perspective the PHR offers an interesting case to reflect on cooperative work that requires new infrastructures that intersect organizational settings and extend into domestic environments. So far though, there has not been enough research to shed light on the self-care activities carried out in the households and how these integrate with the organizational practices of doctors and institutions. Our analyses show that health record keeping is an articulation work necessary for meetings with doctors to proceed smoothly. To do so, people integrate the information contained in medical documents by working on them with annotations, underlinings and integrations. Moreover, we show that health record keeping is a spatialized activity that is inextricably interwoven with the everyday routine and objects. Finally, we provide a tentative classification of three different strategies laypeople use to sort out health records: minimum effort, adaptive, networking.
  • Journal Article
    The Role of Integration in Health-Based Information Infrastructures
    (Computer Supported Cooperative Work (CSCW): Vol. 19, No. 6, 40513) Ellingsen, Gunnar; Røed, Kristoffer
    In this paper, we contribute with empirical insight into the complexity of establishing and sustaining integration between different information infrastructures in health care. An overall concern is to elaborate on how, despite many obstacles, the integration effort moves forward. We see this as a collective achievement, where users have an essential role in terms of mobilizing and coordinating the other actors as well as maintaining the integration. These activities are not limited to a specific project; they emerge from and are part of day-to-day practice. Empirically, we focus on a large integration initiative between the laboratory systems at the University Hospital of Northern Norway and the electronic patient records used by general practitioners in the Northern health region. Together with the vendor, Well Diagnostics, the hospital initiated a project aimed at establishing a new laboratory requisition system that enabled GPs to send requisitions electronically to the hospital laboratories. Theoretically, we draw on the concept of information infrastructures, and supplement this with Actor Network Theory.
  • Journal Article
    Infrastructure Time: Long-term Matters in Collaborative Development
    (Computer Supported Cooperative Work (CSCW): Vol. 19, No. 3-4, 40391) Karasti, Helena; Baker, Karen S.; Millerand, Florence
    This paper addresses the collaborative development of information infrastructure for supporting data-rich scientific collaboration. Studying infrastructure development empirically not only in terms of spatial issues but also, and equally importantly, temporal ones, we illustrate how the long-term matters. Our case is about the collaborative development of a metadata standard for an ecological research domain. It is a complex example where standards are recognized as one element of infrastructure and standard-making efforts include integration of semantic work and software tools development. With a focus on the temporal scales of short-term and long-term, we analyze the practices and views of the main parties involved in the development of the standard. Our contributions are three-fold: 1) extension of the notion of infrastructure to more explicitly include the temporal dimension; 2) identification of two distinct temporal orientations in information infrastructure development work, namely ‘project time’ and ‘infrastructure time’, and 3) association of related development orientations, particularly ‘continuing design’ as a development orientation that recognizes ‘infrastructure time’. We conclude by highlighting the need to enrich understandings of temporality in CSCW, particularly towards longer time scales and more diversified temporal hybrids in collaborative infrastructure development. This work draws attention to the manifold ramifications that ‘infrastructure time’, as an example of more extended temporal scales, suggests for CSCW and e-Research infrastructures.
  • Journal Article
    Reusing Scientific Data: How Earthquake Engineering Researchers Assess the Reusability of Colleagues’ Data
    (Computer Supported Cooperative Work (CSCW): Vol. 19, No. 3-4, 2010) Faniel, Ixchel M.; Jacobsen, Trond E.
    Investments in cyberinfrastructure and e-Science initiatives are motivated by the desire to accelerate scientific discovery. Always viewed as a foundation of science, data sharing is appropriately seen as critical to the success of such initiatives, but new technologies supporting increasingly data-intensive and collaborative science raise significant challenges and opportunities. Overcoming the technical and social challenges to broader data sharing is a common and important research objective, but increasing the supply and accessibility of scientific data is no guarantee data will be applied by scientists. Before reusing data created by others, scientists need to assess the data’s relevance, they seek confidence the data can be understood, and they must trust the data. Using interview data from earthquake engineering researchers affiliated with the George E. Brown, Jr. Network for Earthquake Engineering Simulation (NEES), we examine how these scientists assess the reusability of colleagues’ experimental data for model validation.
  • Journal Article
    Reconfiguring Evidence: Interacting with Digital Objects in Scientific Practice
    (Computer Supported Cooperative Work (CSCW): Vol. 19, No. 3-4, 2010) Monteiro, Marko
    This paper analyzes how scientists working in a multidisciplinary team produce scientific evidence through building and manipulating scientific visualizations. The research is based on ethnographic observations of scientists’ weekly work meetings and the observation of videotapes of these meetings. The scientists observed work with advanced imaging technologies to produce a 4D computer model of heat transfer in human prostate tissues. The idea of ‘digital objects’ is proposed in order to conceptually locate their ‘materiality’, observed in the practices of producing evidence through the handling of three-dimensional renderings of data. The manipulation of digital objects seeks to establish meaningful differences between parameters of interest, both when building and when analyzing them. These digital objects are dealt with as part of the empirical evidence used in the course of practices of visualizing and modeling natural phenomena. This process, which can be contextualized historically in terms of the development of imaging technologies, becomes crucial in understanding what counts as empirical evidence in current scientific work.
  • Journal Article
    Infrastructuring and Ordering Devices in Health Care: Medication Plans and Practices on a Hospital Ward
    (Computer Supported Cooperative Work (CSCW): Vol. 19, No. 6, 40513) Bossen, Claus; Markussen, Randi
    In this paper, we analyse physicians’ and nurses’ practices of prescribing and administering medication through the use of paper-based, and digitalized medication plans. Our point of departure is an ethnographic study of the implications of upgrading an electronic medication module (EMM) that is part of an electronic health record (EHR), carried out at an endocrinology department. The upgrade led to a temporary breakdown of the EMM, and a return to paper-based medication plans. The breakdown made visible and noticeable the taken-for-granted capabilities of medication plans in their paper-based and digital versions, and the distribution of functionalities between medication plans and clinicians. We see the case as an opportunity to analyse infrastructuring in health care, the process by which medical practices and artefacts become parts of social and technological networks with longer reaches and more channels through which coordination among distributed actors is enabled and formed. In this case, infrastructuring means an extended scope and intensity of the coordinative capabilities of medication plans, and an increased vulnerability to, and dependency on events outside the immediate loci of interaction. We particularly note the capacity of the EMM to facilitate different kinds of ordering of information and practices, and propose the conceptualizing of such digitalized artefacts as ‘ordering devices’. Ordering devices order information, stipulate action, and coordinate interaction across and within social worlds, and achieve this through the flexible support of different kinds of ordering.
  • Journal Article
    e-Infrastructures: How Do We Know and Understand Them? Strategic Ethnography and the Biography of Artefacts
    (Computer Supported Cooperative Work (CSCW): Vol. 19, No. 6, 40513) Pollock, Neil; Williams, Robin
    In health research and services, and in many other domains, we note the emergence of large-scale information systems intended for long-term use with multiple users and uses. These e-infrastructures are becoming more widespread and pervasive and, by enabling effective sharing of information and coordination of activities between diverse, dispersed groups, are expected to transform knowledge-based work. Social scientists have sought to analyse the significance of these systems and the processes by which they are created. Much current attention has been drawn to the often-problematic experience of those attempting to establish them. By contrast, this paper is inspired by concerns about the theoretical and methodological weakness of many studies of technology and work organisation—particularly the dominance of relatively short-term, often single site studies of technology implementation. These weaknesses are particularly acute in relation to the analysis of infrastructural technologies. We explore the relevance to such analysis of recent developments in what we call the Biography of Artefacts (BoA) perspective—which emphasises the value of strategic ethnography : theoretically-informed, multi-site and longitudinal studies: We seek to draw insights here from a programme of empirical research into the long-term evolution of corporate e-infrastructures (reflected in current Enterprise Resource Planning systems) and review some new conceptual tools arising from recent research into e-Infrastructures (e-Is). These are particularly relevant to understanding the current and ongoing difficulties encountered in attempts to develop large-scale Health Infrastructures.
  • Journal Article
    Sociotechnical Studies of Cyberinfrastructure and e-Research: Current Themes and Future Trajectories
    (Computer Supported Cooperative Work (CSCW): Vol. 19, No. 3-4, 2010) Ribes, David; Lee, Charlotte P.
  • Journal Article
    An Admissibility-Based Operational Transformation Framework for Collaborative Editing Systems
    (Computer Supported Cooperative Work (CSCW): Vol. 19, No. 1, 40210) Li, Du; Li, Rui
    Operational transformation (OT) as a consistency control method has been well accepted in group editors. With OT, the users can edit any part of a shared document at any time and local responsiveness is not sensitive to communication latencies. However, established theoretical frameworks for developing OT algorithms either require transformation functions to work in all possible cases, which complicates the design of transformation functions, or include an under-formalized condition of intention preservation, which results in algorithms that cannot be formally proved and must be fixed over time to address newly discovered counterexamples. To address those limitations, this paper proposes an alternative framework, called admissibility-based transformation (ABT), that is theoretically based on formalized, provable correctness criteria and practically no longer requires transformation functions to work under all conditions. Compared to previous approaches, ABT simplifies the design and proofs of OT algorithms.