ECSCW 2018 Long Papers

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  • Journal Article
    Designing for Sustainability: Key Issues of ICT Projects for Ageing at Home
    (Computer Supported Cooperative Work 27(3-4)- ECSCW 2018: Proceedings of the 16th European Conference on Computer Supported Cooperative Work, 2018) Meurer, Johanna; Müller, Claudia; Simone, Carla; Wagner, Ina; Wulf, Volker
    Achieving the sustainability of IT-based solutions is a challenge. We will argue in this paper that it is helpful to conceptualize designing for sustainable IT-based solutions as taking place in a multi-dimensional space. It requires thinking about how a project is framed; the perspectives and commitments of the project partners; the type of innovation that is foregrounded; the motivations and needs of the user group; and the level of sustainability a project or research program may achieve. The paper describes some of the challenges and possible solutions by revisiting a portfolio of projects that developed IT support for elderly people who continue living in their own homes.
  • Journal Article
    Variations in Oncology Consultations: How Dictation allows Variations to be Documented in Standardized Ways
    (Computer Supported Cooperative Work 27(3-4)- ECSCW 2018: Proceedings of the 16th European Conference on Computer Supported Cooperative Work, 2018) Mørck, Peter; Langhoff, Tue Odd; Christophersen, Mads; Møller, Anne Kirstine; Bjørn, Pernille
    In-between 2016 and 2017 a new hospital information system (HIS) was introduced at several hospitals in Denmark radically changing the core work practices for a majority of the healthcare professionals. Promptly, the new HIS began to receive criticism from healthcare professionals for failing to live up to proclaimed expectations. To fully understand the problems experienced by the healthcare professionals we need to understand the fundamental nature of the work prior to the implementation. In this paper, we investigate patient consultations as they were performed prior to the implementation of the HIS at an oncology department. Reporting from a 1.5 year-long study, we find patient consultations were organized in three sequential activities: review, interaction, and documentation. Further, we find that the dictaphone served as a key artifact allowing physicians to enact flexibility in documentation while simultaneously providing them with the capability to communicate and coordinate with the medical secretaries. Our empirical findings suggest that the medical secretaries are critical for structured documentation of variations in health data and are the cornerstones that allow physicians to enact sentimental efforts when interacting with patients. These insights prove important in understanding the criticism aimed at the new HIS implementation since the implementation removed the dictaphone as a key artifact and instead introduced a new organizational structure where documentation was assumed accomplished in parallel with patient interaction. The transformation consequently shifted work, previously performed by the medical secretaries, to the physicians.
  • Journal Article
    Room for Silence: Ebola Research, Pluralism and the Pragmatic Study of Sociomaterial Practices
    (Computer Supported Cooperative Work 27(3-4)- ECSCW 2018: Proceedings of the 16th European Conference on Computer Supported Cooperative Work, 2018) Holeman, Isaac
    The notion of sociomaterial practices speaks to a view of routine work in which people and materials are always already entangled. This implies that the commonsense tendency to treat concrete materials and social activity as separate analytical categories may actually muddy more than illuminate our understanding of practices. Engaging work from science and technology studies, this broad view of materiality refers not only to the physical properties of machines but also to software and algorithms, electrical grids and other infrastructure, buildings, human bodies, ecological systems etc. Despite remarkable enthusiasm, the conversation about sociomaterial practices occasionally has devolved into philosophical turf wars, engendering pleas for pluralism. All too often, such lofty conceptual debates lose sight of pragmatic concerns such as technology design work or humanitarian action. This essay traces both issues to a tension between adopting a grand philosophical Ontology, versus undertaking detailed empirical studies of particular concrete work practices. I argue that studies exploring the practical specifics of particular sociomaterial practices should be granted room for silence with respect to some theoretical commitments, on the grounds that this will afford a more lively pluralism. For ethnomethodologists, this re-orientation to grand theory is a matter of methodological rigor and theoretical sophistication. For pragmatists, room for silence has to do with the dilemma of rigor or practical relevance. This is not to say that key concepts are unnecessary—they can provoke us to look beyond narrow disciplinary confines and standard assumptions about the scope of field studies. Through an account of the 2013-2016 Ebola outbreak in West Africa, I show how these conceptual debates matter for empirical research and for design practice. In this case, complex technical and biosocial processes made a concrete difference in the course of the outbreak and the humanitarian response to it. For practitioners no less than for researchers, this case throws into sharp relief the real human stakes of grasping how the material world gets caught up in workaday human activity.
  • Journal Article
    In Search for the Perfect Pathway: Supporting Knowledge Work of Welfare Workers
    (Computer Supported Cooperative Work 27(3-4)- ECSCW 2018: Proceedings of the 16th European Conference on Computer Supported Cooperative Work, 2018) Boulus-Rødje, Nina
    This paper investigates the collaborative practices and computational artifacts that welfare workers use in a public welfare agency. Specifically, the paper focuses on caseworkers’ knowledge practices related to assessing unemployed citizens and identifying ‘perfect’ pathways. I draw upon an ongoing ethnographic study, carried out in one of the largest municipal jobcentres in Denmark. Findings from this research point out that existing computational artifacts support compliance with welfare policy, while limited support is provided to caseworkers in helping citizens obtain an employment. The contribution of the paper is three-folded: 1) identifying fundamental characteristics of the caseworkers’ knowledge work entailed in assessing unemployed citizens and identifying appropriate pathways, 2) examining the conditions surrounding these knowledge practices, and 3) discussing implications for the design of computational artifacts that better support local knowledge practices. While maintaining support to policy compliance, I argue that computational artifacts can also support ‘data-driven knowledge’, meaning the creation of knowledge that is based on data collected from the wide range of cases of unemployed.
  • Journal Article
    Online Support Groups for Depression in China: Culturally Shaped Interactions and Motivations
    (Computer Supported Cooperative Work 27(3-4)- ECSCW 2018: Proceedings of the 16th European Conference on Computer Supported Cooperative Work, 2018) Zhang, Renwen; Eschler, Jordan; Reddy, Madhu
    Online support groups have drawn considerable attention from scholars in the past decades. While prior research has explored the interactions and motivations of users, we know relatively little about how culture shapes the way people use and understand online support groups. Drawing on ethnographic research in a Chinese online depression community, we examine how online support groups function in the context of Chinese culture for people with depression. Through online observations and interviews, we uncover the unique interactions among users in this online support group, such as peer diagnosis, peer therapy, and public journaling. These activities were intertwined with Chinese cultural values and the scarcity of mental health resources in China. We also show that online support groups play an important role in fostering individual empowerment and improving public understanding of depression in China. This paper provides insights into the interweaving of culture and online health community use and contributes to a context-rich understanding of online support groups.
  • Journal Article
    Worksome but Rewarding – Stakeholder Perceptions on Value in Collaborative Design Work
    (Computer Supported Cooperative Work 27(3-4)- ECSCW 2018: Proceedings of the 16th European Conference on Computer Supported Cooperative Work, 2018) Kinnula, Marianne; Iivari, Netta; Isomursu, Minna; Laari-Salmela, Sari
    In this paper, we examine collaborative design projects in school contexts with many different stakeholders. We look at the value created for and by different stakeholders, focusing on value as a benefit, which is experienced – perceived and determined – by the beneficiaries themselves in the value co-creation process. As our focus is in “value-in-use”, i.e., value which emerges through activities taking place in a specific space, time, and context, we define value through subjective experience of people involved. We apply in our study the concept of value co-creation, where value is understood emerging from collaborative activity between actors participating in the activity. We see that the value co-creation lens provides a useful means for the CSCW community to scrutinize and make sense of collaborative design projects. We categorized the perceived value for each stakeholder and discuss how these categories can help in gaining a deeper understanding of the value gained in collaborative design work as well as how value co-creation lens in more general can be used as a tool in collaborative design projects.
  • Journal Article
    From Work to Life and Back Again: Examining the Digitally-Mediated Work/Life Practices of a Group of Knowledge Workers
    (Computer Supported Cooperative Work 27(3-4)- ECSCW 2018: Proceedings of the 16th European Conference on Computer Supported Cooperative Work, 2018) Ciolfi, Luigina; Lockley, Eleanor
    This paper presents the results of a qualitative study exploring the technologically-mediated practices of work/life balancing, blurring and boundary-setting of a cohort of professionals in knowledge-intensive roles in Sheffield, a regional city in Northern England. It contributes to a growing body of CSCW research on the complex interweaving of work and non-work tasks, demands and on the boundaries that can be supported or hindered by digital technologies. In the paper, we detail how a cohort of 26 professionals in knowledge-intensive roles devise diverse strategies for handling work and non-work in light of a set of interconnected forces, and we argue that boundary dissolving and work-life blurring, and not just boundary setting and “balancing”, are essential resources within such strategies. We also show how boundary sculpting pertains not only to work pervading personal spheres of life, but also the opposite, and that establishing, softening and dissolving boundaries are practiced to handle situations when the personal seeps into professional life.
  • Journal Article
    Accountability in Brazilian Governmental Software Project: How Chat Technology enables Social Translucence in Bug Report Activities
    (Computer Supported Cooperative Work 27(3-4)- ECSCW 2018: Proceedings of the 16th European Conference on Computer Supported Cooperative Work, 2018) Tenório, Nelson; Pinto, Danieli; Bjørn, Pernille
    Fixing software bug is part of the daily work routine in software engineering which requires collaboration and thus has been explored as a core CSCW domain, since the early inception of the research field. In this paper, we explore the use of chat technology in software engineering by analyzing the coordination between client and vendor in a large government software project in Brazil (Gov-IT). We collected our empirical material through face-to-face and online interviews, site and chat forums observations. Looking closely at the bug fixing activities within Gov-IT, we find that the client and the vendor use chat technology to coordinate their cooperative work by enabling the participants to monitor the availability of developers and the urgency of detecting bugs synchronously. This way, the chat technology made it possible for the client to report bugs and developers to resolve bugs in a timely manner. Moreover, the chat technology enabled the participants to request and share artefacts synchronously, making it possible to analyze and understand the contextual nature surrounding bugs faster than using the bug tracking system. Finally, the chat technology enabled participants in enacting commitment and interdependence across vendor and client, creating cooperative situations of mutual dependence. Our results suggest that we, as CSCW designers, must rethink the design of bug tracking systems and find new ways to re-configure systems, so they support the coordinative practices involved in detecting, analyzing, and resolving critical and severe software bugs synchronously.
  • Journal Article
    Of Embodied Action and Sensors: Knowledge and Expertise Sharing in Industrial Set-up
    (Computer Supported Cooperative Work 27(3-4)- ECSCW 2018: Proceedings of the 16th European Conference on Computer Supported Cooperative Work, 2018) Pinatti de Carvalho, Aparecido Fabiano; Hoffmann, Sven; Abele, Darwin; Schweitzer, Marcus; Tolmie, Peter; Randall, David; Wulf, Volker
    Knowledge and expertise sharing has long been an important theme in CSCW and, importantly, one that has frequently challenged a prevailing view concerning knowledge management. This critique focused, initially, on the practical problems associated with issues of Organisational Memory (OM), and in particular the difficulties inherent in an oversimplified ‘repository’ model. Attention then turned to issues of contextuality and communication for expertise sharing, drawing on concepts such as communities of practice and social capital to understand, again, the sharing of knowledge and expertise in practice. Here, we report on how particular kinds of ‘embodied action’ can be identified in relation to the potential of cyber-physical infrastructures for knowledge sharing in an industrial context. We argue that, in a complex industrial domain, both the recording of physical movement – ‘showing’ – and the representation of local knowledge – ‘telling’ – are potentially relevant. Our proposal is that the evolution of cyber-physical infrastructures now offers a way of changing some early assumptions about how knowledge might be captured and displayed. We argue that we are entering a third generation of knowledge and expertise sharing research, where the use of augmented reality (AR) and sensor technology will result in significant new methodological innovations, including the capture and sharing of knowledge, embedded in embodied action.
  • Journal Article
    The Types, Roles, and Practices of Documentation in Data Analytics Open Source Software Libraries: A Collaborative Ethnography of Documentation Work
    (Computer Supported Cooperative Work 27(3-4)- ECSCW 2018: Proceedings of the 16th European Conference on Computer Supported Cooperative Work, 2018) Geiger, R. Stuart; Varoquaux, Nelle; Mazel-Cabasse, Charlotte; Holdgraf, Chris
    Computational research and data analytics increasingly relies on com- plex ecosystems of open source software (OSS) “libraries” – curated collections of reusable code that programmers import to perform a specific task. Software docu- mentation for these libraries is crucial in helping programmers/analysts know what libraries are available and how to use them. Yet documentation for open source soft- ware libraries is widely considered low-quality. This article is a collaboration between CSCW researchers and contributors to data analytics OSS libraries, based on ethno- graphic fieldwork and qualitative interviews. We examine several issues around the formats, practices, and challenges around documentation in these largely volunteer- based projects. There are many different kinds and formats of documentation that exist around such libraries, which play a variety of educational, promotional, and organizational roles. The work behind documentation is similarly multifaceted, in- cluding writing, reviewing, maintaining, and organizing documentation. Different aspects of documentation work require contributors to have different sets of skills and overcome various social and technical barriers. Finally, most of our intervie- wees do not report high levels of intrinsic enjoyment for doing documentation work (compared to writing code). Their motivation is affected by personal and project- specific factors, such as the perceived level of credit for doing documentation work versus more ‘technical’ tasks like adding new features or fixing bugs. In studying documentation work for data analytics OSS libraries, we gain a new window into the changing practices of data-intensive research, as well as help practitioners better understand how to support this often invisible and infrastructural work in their pro jects.