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Information Science Approaches to Studying Virtual Organiztions

Besiki Stvilia, Kevin Crowston, Andrea Tapia, Rolf Wigand and Gary Burnett

(Submission #165)


The National Science Foundation’s Virtual Organizations as Sociotechnical Systems program (VOSS) provides funding for “research directed at advancing the understanding of what constitutes effective virtual organizations and under what conditions” such organizations “can enable and enhance scientific, engineering, and education production and innovation.” The proposed ASIS&T panel will bring together representatives of four VOSS-funded research teams (from Florida State University, Syracuse University, Pennsylvania State University, and the University of Arkansas) to discuss the role of information science theories and methodologies in their different approaches to studying virtual organizations.

The projects of these four teams investigate a variety of phenomena associated with virtual organizations, ranging from the life-cycles of distributed scientific teams, through the interactions between core groups of scientists and volunteers in “citizen science,” the socio-technical requirements of loosely coupled emergent teams, to the roles of communication, trust, and leadership in teams.

Following the theme of the conference, this panel will focus on navigating two different “streams” in “information ecosystems”: it will examine the ways in which information science scholars have successfully navigated one particular NSF funding stream, and it will also examine how these scholars investigate the information ecosystems of virtual organizations. Each member of the panel will discuss the theoretical and methodological perspectives informing their VOSS projects, and the panel will address issues related to Information Science scholars who are pursuing NSF and other funding opportunities.


Program Track:  Track 6 - Information and Society: Economic, Political, Social Issues
Submission Type:  Panel Proposal

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