JCSCW Vol. 30 (2021)

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  • Journal Article
    Encoding Collective Knowledge, Instructing Data Reusers: The Collaborative Fixation of a Digital Scientific Data Set
    (Computer Supported Cooperative Work (CSCW): Vol. 30, No. 4, 2021) Hoeppe, Götz
    This article provides a novel perspective on the use and reuse of scientific data by providing a chronological ethnographic account and analysis of how a team of researchers prepared an astronomical catalogue (a table of measured properties of galaxies) for public release. Whereas much existing work on data reuse has focused on information about data (such as metadata), whose form or lack has been described as a hurdle for reusing data successfully, I describe how data makers tried to instruct users through the processed data themselves. The fixation of this catalogue was a negotiation, resulting in what was acceptable to team members and coherent with the diverse data uses pertinent to their completed work. It was through preparing their catalogue as an ‘instructing data object’ that this team seeked to encode its members’ knowledge of how the data were processed and to make it consequential for users by devising methodical ways to structure anticipated uses. These methods included introducing redundancies that would help users to self-correct mistaken uses, selectively deleting data, and deflecting accountability through making notational choices. They dwell on an understanding of knowledge not as exclusively propositional (such as the belief in propositions), but as embedded in witnessable activities and the products of these activities. I discuss the implications of this account for philosophical notions of collective knowledge and for theorizing coordinative artifacts in CSCW. Eventually, I identify a tension between ‘using algorithms’ and ‘doing science’ in preparing data sets and show how it was resolved in this case.
  • Journal Article
    The Automation of the Taxi Industry – Taxi Drivers’ Expectations and Attitudes Towards the Future of their Work
    (Computer Supported Cooperative Work (CSCW): Vol. 30, No. 4, 2021) Pakusch, Christina; Boden, Alexander; Stein, Martin; Stevens, Gunnar
    Advoc ates of autonomous driving predict that the occupation of taxi driver could be made obsolete by shared autonomous vehicles (SAV) in the long term. Conducting interviews with German taxi drivers, we investigate how they perceive the changes caused by advancing automation for the future of their business. Our study contributes insights into how the work of taxi drivers could change given the advent of autonomous driving: While the task of driving could be taken over by SAVs for standard trips, taxi drivers are certain that other areas of their work such as providing supplementary services and assistance to passengers would constitute a limit to such forms of automation, but probably involving a shifting role for the taxi drivers, one which focuses on the sociality of the work. Our findings illustrate how taxi drivers see the future of their work, suggesting design implications for tools that take various forms of assistance into account, and demonstrating how important it is to consider taxi drivers in the co-design of future taxis and SAV services.
  • Journal Article
    Participatory Design as the Temporal Flow of Coalescing Participatory Lines
    (Computer Supported Cooperative Work (CSCW): Vol. 30, No. 4, 2021) Hayes, Niall; Introna, Lucas D.; Cass, Noel
    This paper argues that the existing literature on participatory design (PD) tends to focus on frontstage design interactions (workshops, participants, methodologies, techniques, etc.) to facilitate PD ‘here and now’—referred to as the interactional approach . In contrast, the paper proposes to contribute to an evolving literature, referred to as the transformational approach , that takes a more longitudinal line and which attends to both the frontstage and backstage within an extended temporal frame. To do this the paper draws on the work of the social anthropologist Tim Ingold, in particular, his concept of the happening of ongoing life as a bundle of flowing lines. The paper argues that PD becomes possible when ongoing participation is conceived of as a set of corresponding (or coalescing) and conditioning lines of flow—each line with its own history, attentionality, rhythms, tempos and so forth. To illustrate what this reorientation might mean for PD the paper draws on an in-depth action research study of a PD initiative that sought to develop a digital service to address loneliness and social isolation in a rural location in the UK. The paper explores how project members, individual participants, non-governmental organisation, government representatives, evaluators and funders co-responded to each other (or not) as they engaged, or became implicated, in the PD process. The paper concludes with some practical implications of what such an Ingoldian reorientation might mean for the ongoing development of PD as a transformational methodology.
  • Journal Article
    Understanding Matchmakers’ Experiences, Principles and Practices of Assembling Innovation Teams
    (Computer Supported Cooperative Work (CSCW): Vol. 30, No. 4, 2021) Koivunen, Sami; Olshannikova, Ekaterina; Olsson, Thomas
    The team composition of a project team is an essential determinant of the success of innovation projects that aim to produce novel solution ideas. Team assembly is essentially complex and sensitive decision-making, yet little supported by information technology (IT). In order to design appropriate digital tools for team assembly, and team formation more broadly, we call for profoundly understanding the practices and principles of matchmakers who manually assemble teams in specific contexts. This paper reports interviews with 13 expert matchmakers who are regularly assembling multidisciplinary innovation teams in various organizational environments in Finland. Based on qualitative analysis of their experiences, we provide insights into their established practices and principles in team assembly. We conceptualize and describe common tactical approaches on different typical levels of team assembly, including arranging approaches like “key-skills-first”, “generalist-first” and “topic-interest-first”, and balancing approaches like “equally-skilled-teams” and “high-expertise-teams”. The reported empirical insights can help to design IT systems that support team assembly according to different tactics.
  • Journal Article
    Context-based Automated Responses of Unavailability in Mobile Messaging
    (Computer Supported Cooperative Work (CSCW): Vol. 30, No. 3, 2021) Jain, Pranut; Farzan, Rosta; Lee, Adam J.
    People are not always able to respond immediately to incoming messages on their mobile devices, either due to engagement in another task or simply because the moment is inconvenient for them. This delay in responding could affect social relationships, as there are often expectations associated with mobile messaging and people may experience a lingering pressure to attend to their messages. In this work, we investigate an approach for generating automated contextual responses on behalf of message recipients when they are not available to respond. We first identify several types of contextual information that can be obtained from a user’s smartphone and explore whether those can be used to explain unavailability. We then assess users’ perception of the usefulness of these sensor-based categories and their level of comfort with sharing such information through a Mechanical Turk survey study. Our results show emergent groups with varying preferences with regards to the usefulness and comfort in sharing two types of contextual information: user state and device state . Further, we also observed a strong influence of message context (i.e., message urgency and social tie strength) in users’ perceptions of these auto-generated messages. Our research provides understanding of users’ perceptions of sharing context through an autonomous agent that can help design and create effective approaches towards enabling communication awareness.
  • Journal Article
    Disruptive online communication: How asymmetric trolling-like response strategies steer conversation off the track
    (Computer Supported Cooperative Work (CSCW): Vol. 30, No. 3, 2021) Paakki, Henna; Vepsäläinen, Heidi; Salovaara, Antti
    Internet trolling, a form of antisocial online behavior, is a serious problem plaguing social media. Skillful trolls can lure entire communities into degenerative and polarized discussions that continue endlessly. From analysis of data gathered in accordance with established classifications of trolling-like behavior, the paper presents a conversation analysis of trolling-like interaction strategies that disrupt online discussions. The authors argue that troll-like users exploit other users’ desire for common grounding – i.e., joint maintenance of mutual understanding and seeking of conversational closure – by responding asymmetrically. Their responses to others deviate from expectations for typical paired actions in turn-taking. These asymmetries, described through examples of three such behaviors – ignoring, mismatching, and challenging – lead to dissatisfactory interactions, in that they subvert other users’ desire for clarification and explanation of contra-normative social behavior. By avoiding clarifications, troll-like users easily capture unsuspecting users’ attention and manage to prolong futile conversations interminably. Through the analysis, the paper connects trolling-like asymmetric response strategies with concrete data and addresses the implications of this nonconformist behavior for common grounding in social-media venues.
  • Journal Article
    Immersive Cooperative Work Environments (CWE): Designing Human-Building Interaction in Virtual Reality
    (Computer Supported Cooperative Work (CSCW): Vol. 30, No. 3, 2021) Bjørn, Pernille; Wulff, Mark; Petræus, Mathias Schmidt; Møller, Naja Holten
    We propose to extend CSCW research to include the design of buildings for cooperative work and to engage in designing Human-Building Interaction supporting cooperative practices. Concretely, we design and implement an immersive Cooperative Work Environment in Virtual Reality using real-life 3D architectural models of a hospital. We then invite healthcare practitioners to cooperatively resuscitate patients experiencing cardiac arrest in an immersive Cooperative Work Environment. This enabled the healthcare practitioners to identify critical functional errors (e.g. how asymmetric door design compromised resurrection practices in certain situations) that were not detected through other available architectural representations. Based upon our research, we identify three design dimensions essential to creating immersive Cooperative Work Environments: 1) the cooperative dimension, structured as the design of interdependence, articulation work, awareness, and grounding; 2) the professional work dimension, structured as the design of work practices, policies, artefacts, and professional language; and 3) the spatiotemporal dimension, structured as the design of loci and mobility. We also identified temporal orientation as a cross-spanning category relevant for all three design dimensions essential to participants’ navigating of the building. Temporal orientation in an immersive Cooperative Work Environment must accommodate the experience of sequential time, clock time, and action time.
  • Journal Article
    Tensions in Representing Behavioral Data in an Electronic Health Record
    (Computer Supported Cooperative Work (CSCW): Vol. 30, No. 3, 2021) Marcu, Gabriela; Dey, Anind K.; Kiesler, Sara
    Taking an action research approach, we engaged in fieldwork with school-based behavioral health care teams to: observe record keeping practices, design and deploy a prototype system addressing key challenges, and reflect on its use. We describe the challenges of capturing behavioral data using both paper and electronic records. Creating records of behaviors requires direct observation, and as a result the record keeping responsibility is challenging to distribute across a care team. Behavioral data on paper must be transferred and prepared for reporting, both inside the organization and to stakeholders outside of the organization. In prototyping a computerized working record, we targeted user needs for capturing details of a behavioral incident in the moment. Challenges persisted through the transition from paper to our prototype, and based on these empirical findings over two years of fieldwork, we present five tensions in representing behavioral data in an electronic health record. These tensions reflect the differences between entering behavioral data into the record for intraorganizational use versus interorganizational use.
  • Journal Article
    Observing Inequality: Can Ergonomic Observations Help Interventions Transform the Role of Gender in Work Activity?
    (Computer Supported Cooperative Work (CSCW): Vol. 30, No. 2, 2021) Messing, Karen; Lefrançois, Mélanie; Saint-Charles, Johanne
    Work activity ergonomics (sometimes called francophone ergonomics) draws heavily on observation in order to support transformation of work to arrive at better health without interfering with productivity. Recently, ergonomists have attempted to integrate gender into their interventions. At the same time, ergonomists have been observing and documenting the importance of considering collective dimensions of work, thus including the construction of social relations among workers. Gender as well as biological sex can affect work activity through (1) Gendered job and task assignments; (2) Biological differences between women and men influencing the interface between work activity and the physical environment; (3) Gendered human relations at work, including sexual stereotyping, sexism, sexual harrassment, and sexual relations among workers and between workers and management or clients; (4) Manifestations of work-family articulation. But actually observing these phenomena poses various difficulties for the ergonomist. How can/should gender be observed by ergonomists? We describe a set of twenty studies, undertaken by ergonomists in collaboration with trade union women’s committees and health and safety committees, where observations were central. We describe in particular detail a study of work-family articulation. Participant and ergonomic observations of workers with highly invasive schedules assigned to cleaning transportation equipment, and relational analysis tools were mobilized to reveal determinants of work activity and some sources of social inequalities. Integrating observations of gender and other dimensions of social relations into ergonomic analysis and intervention is revealed as necessary, but not simple, and fraught with obstacles.
  • Journal Article
    Ethnography, CSCW and Ethnomethodology
    (Computer Supported Cooperative Work (CSCW): Vol. 30, No. 2, 2021) Randall, David; Rouncefield, Mark; Tolmie, Peter
    This paper documents some details and some examples of the influence of ethnomethodological work in the fieldwork tradition associated with European CSCW; in particular what has been termed ‘ethnomethodologically informed ethnography’. In so doing, we do not wish to downplay other perspectival and methodological contributions but to simply suggest that much of the ethnomethodological work that was done in the UK during the early development of CSCW had a distinctive character and made significant contributions to the study of complex organizational environments for design-related purposes that arguably reinvigorated the European fieldwork tradition. The distinctiveness we speak of in ‘ethnomethodologically informed ethnography’ had to do with what it owed to Wittgenstein and Winch as much as Garfinkel and Sacks, was rooted in a contempt for methodological fetishism, and emphasized the centrality of reasoning or rationale in the conduct of working and, more generally, social life. This focus and approach drew heavily on the ethnographic work of the likes of John Hughes in Lancaster, Wes Sharrock in Manchester, Bob Anderson at Xerox in Cambridge, and Christian Heath in King’s, London, where attention was focused on the actual ‘doing’ of work as opposed to work in some idealised form – and it is this that we suggest has become important to design and designers of various kinds and in various domains.