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Pikas casci talk 11262013 final

Overview of my dissertation research on communication in science and the role of social computing technologies

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Pikas casci talk 11262013 final

  1. 1. The role of new Information and Communication Technologies (ICTs) in information and communication in science A conceptual framework and empirical study Christina K. Pikas PhD Candidate November 26, 2013
  2. 2. Agenda • The Problem • My Framework • Testing the Framework • Early Results • Conclusions
  3. 3. The Problem • “Communication is the essence of science” (Garvey, 1979) • Many scientists use social computing technologies to communicate
  4. 4. Problem: Separate Literatures • Separate large bodies of literature studying communication in science • Communication, Journalism, and Rhetoric • Information Science • Science and Technology Studies • These bodies are independent (rarely citing each other) • New studies of social computing technologies (SCT) cite little of this literature
  5. 5. Problem: SCTs Evolve Quickly • New descriptive studies often narrowly focus on a single technology • Users adapt technologies as they adopt them (Rogers, 2003) • The uses and features of SCTs can evolve quickly as they are adopted • Studies of SCTs can get dated quickly
  6. 6. Needed: Comprehensive Framework • No overall view of how these SCTs fit into what we already know about how scientists communicate • No grounded approach to understanding any new SCT that comes along
  7. 7. My approach Develop a comprehensive framework to describe communication in science that draws upon the relevant literatures The framework will be useful for: • Situating new technologies • Research on uses of SCTs • Helping organizations understand SCTs, so that they may support their use
  8. 8. Agenda • The Problem • My Framework • Testing the Framework • Early Results • Conclusions
  9. 9. Elements of the Framework • • • • Features of the Communication Partners Purposes of the Communication Activity Features of the Message or Content Features of the Channel
  10. 10. Partners • Communication depends on the relationship among the communication partners (Schramm, 1971;Rogers & Kincaid, 1981) • In SCTs, it might be imagined audience based on cues (Marwick & boyd, 2011)
  11. 11. Partners: Numbers • One to One • One to Many
  12. 12. Partners: Specialization/Sophistication Each partner belongs to a category/level: 1. Participants in the specific research area who share background knowledge, expertise, and experience (Fleck, 1935; Kuhn, 1962; Crane, 1972; Collins, 1985) 2. Other scientists in the general research area with significant commonalities, but without the specific expertise and experience of direct participants (Paul, 2004)
  13. 13. Partners: Specialization/Sophisticatio n 3. Scientists and non-scientists who have some college-level scientific training and who are interested in science (Kyvik, 2005); practitioners in an applied area of that science who have strong experiential knowledge, but who may have had less formal science education (Fleck, 1935; Wynne, 1995)
  14. 14. Partners: Specialization/Sophisticatio n 4. Non-scientists who have an interest in science (Kyvik, 2005) 5. Non-scientists who are not interested in science and who may be distrustful of scientists or some scientific ideas (Merton, 1973)
  15. 15. Partners: Relationship • Match by specialization/sophistication • Social relationship • Do they share a common background? • Have they worked together long? (Kouzes, 2000)
  16. 16. Elements of the Framework • Partners • Purposes • Content • Channel
  17. 17. Purposes To do with the intended goal or result • Dissemination – to disseminate the results of their work • Discourse or contributing to the conversation (Nentwich, 2003) • Societal benefit or application (Kleinman, 1998) • Identity (Polanyi, 2000) • Rewards (Latour & Woolgar, 1986; Borgman & Furner, 2002) • Certification (Borgman, 2007; Nentwich, 2003; Zuckerman & Merton, 1971) • Preservation (Bowker, 2000)
  18. 18. Purposes • Learning, teaching, or providing instruction (Collins, 1985; Hara, Shapin, 1995;Solomon, Kim, & Sonnenwald, 2003) • Persuasion – e.g., grant applications but also in journal articles (Latour & Woolgar, 1986) • Evaluation or opinion – e.g., peer review reports, grant review reports (Weller, 2001)
  19. 19. Purposes • Coordination – socially to meet or to negotiate research collaborations (Vetere, Smith, & Gibbs, 2009) • Social • Common ground (Clarke & Brennan, 1993) • Group membership (Tufekci, 2011) • Politeness, social norms (Schneider, 1988) • Entertainment – to entertain or provide humor (Pikas, 2008)
  20. 20. Elements of the Framework • Partners • Purposes • Content • Channel
  21. 21. Content Preliminary classification • Topic • Type • Data • Methods, algorithms, protocols, scripts • Analysis, narrative • Theoretical or philosophical • Opinion or evaluation
  22. 22. Content • Structure – well-structured (as in headings or as in marked up for computational use) to free text • Persistence – part of the permanent record or a short-lived utterance • Review or quality control - extent to which the communication is reviewed, edited, or curated prior to or after transmission
  23. 23. Elements of the Framework • Partners • Purposes • Content • Channel
  24. 24. Channel Elsewhere channel can mean source or format but here used for medium between communication partners • Face to face • Mediated – Clark and Brennan, 1993, characteristics plus coherence (Honeycutt & Herring, 2009)
  25. 25. Agenda • The Problem • My Framework • Testing the Framework • Early Results • Conclusions
  26. 26. Study Setting • One general area of science: geosciences • Two SCT: Twitter and blogs
  27. 27. Why Geosciences • Studies all aspects of earth and planetary science including, for example, geology, oceanography, and climatology • Active Twitter and blog communities • Professional society support for social media • Active local community (NASA, USGS, APL, UM)
  28. 28. Methods • Longitudinal study: 2010-2013 • Participants: Geoscientists who attend American Geophysical Union conferences • Tweets with hashtags: #AGU10, #AGU11, #AGU2011, #AGU12, #AGU2 012, #AGU13, #AGU2013
  29. 29. Methods Two ethnographic case studies: • Directed qualitative content analysis (Hsieh & Shannon, 2005) of tweets and blog content • Semi-structured interviews with participants (Rubin & Rubin, 2005) • Participant observation • Some exploratory social network analysis for selection of interview participants
  30. 30. More About Methods • Retrieved tweets using a variety of methods • Which tweets? • Organizations (individuals representing organization) – quite different behavior > omitted • Many (modified tweet) MT and (retweets) RT are for event and press release announcements > omitted from content analysis • Interview participants selected from meeting tweeters • Blogs/bloggers will be selected from the same pool
  31. 31. Agenda • The Problem • My Framework • Testing the Framework • Early Results • Conclusions
  32. 32. Exploratory SNA • Networks from @ conversations n1 tweets @n2 forms an arc • Largest component shown • Nodes sized by degree
  33. 33. 2010 setiinstitute theagu nasa nasajpl efectos1260 Twitter @ network, nodes sized by degree, largest component only 860 tweeters, 2995 tweets (whole conference)
  34. 34. 2011 Twitter @ network, nodes sized by degree, largest component only. 907 tweeters, 3604 tweets (whole conference)
  35. 35. 2012 Twitter @ network, nodes sized by degree, largest component only 1276 tweeters, 6207 tweets (whole conference)
  36. 36. Partners: Specialization • Reported that it is good for outreach “it’s clearly been useful for NASA in terms of their missions “ • Yet most useful examples were • Within research area “there are times when one of us will have a question, ‘hey I’m looking up …what’s the fraction of Kuiper belt objects with satellites?’” • With scientists from adjacent research areas “…a way to bounce things off of people … ‘hey this is how I’m interpreting this’ and [] who’s a dynamics guy could say … ‘that’s kind of crazy and here’s why. Here’s this paper that I’m working on that shows that this isn’t what’s going on’”
  37. 37. Partners: Relationship • Meet-ups and following relationships make for groups or cliques with more conversations and re-tweets – even if anyone and everyone can observe threads
  38. 38. Purpose: Dissemination • Session Reporting • Example: “Emile-Geay: using non-marine proxies for SST reconstruction potentially problematic; unstable teleconnections #AGU12” • Coordination with multiple tweeters for coverage of small conferences or for session coverage
  39. 39. Purposes: Dissemination • Sharing work in progress, links to slide decks and poster files for conferences “The DIL team's presentation at #agu2012 is now available via slideshare”
  40. 40. Purposes • Preservation: Use as notes “it’s sort of become how I take notes now so it’s kind of become a public note-taking thing” • Teaching: Ask a scientist • Persuasion: Effort to restore funding for robotic planetary science missions
  41. 41. Purposes • Coordination • “Room for @chasingice showing at 7.30 is full! Moscone South 300. #AGU12” • Meet me at poster #1987 in Moscone South Hall C 11am-12pm, 1:40-2:00 pm, 2:15-3:45 pm. #AGU2012 • Social: Phatic (Vetere et al., 2009) • “Postdoc bought a 5# bag of jelly beans to help him through #AGU12 prep. I am now an attentive advisor, stopping by his office every 5 min.” • “@seagirlreed Christy, we miss you at #AGU2012. Naomi made it. Ever again for you?? • “there’s a lot of the equivalent of sitting around the dorm late at night shooting the breeze”
  42. 42. Content • Evaluation/Opinion: • Great little animation by @jimcameron to finish the session. What a lander and deep ROV for Europa might look like #agu12 #agu2012 • Impassioned lecture on latest climate science and implications for policy by Bob Watson at #AGU2012. Worth watching: http://bit.ly/QIkj2p • Interviewees alluded to: • Data • Methods/Algorithms • Quality control: press release tweets from organizations approved
  43. 43. Content • Analysis: • “when the Chelyabinsk bolide happened that was really exciting and I felt like I was able to go and get online and I knew the tools and I was able to go: just based on this video that we’re seeing the bolide the original body was probably this big. That means it happens about this often”
  44. 44. Conclusions • As more geoscientists adopt Twitter, it becomes more used/useful for informal scholarly communication • Interesting conversations in public – reveals scientific work to non-scientists • Science writers and science enthusiasts are welcomed and engaged • Flexibility with data collection is a must as APIs change!
  45. 45. Take Aways • Framework is useful to describe how geoscientists use Twitter
  46. 46. Contact: Christina K. Pikas cpikas@umd.edu or cpikas@gmail.com @cpikas Slides will be posted to SlideShare http://www.slideshare.net/cpikas
  47. 47. Clark & Brennan (1993) on mediated channels • Copresence refers to actually being in the same place at the same time. • Visibility means that the conversation partners can see each other including gestures and facial expressions. • Audibility means that the conversation partners can hear each other and the tone of voice. • Cotemporality means that the messages from one person in the conversation to another are received immediately. • Simultaneity means that both parties can send and receive at exactly the same time. • Sequentiality refers more to recorded channels. It means that turns by each partner do not get out of order. • Reviewability enables conversation partners to look at what has been said. • Revisability enables conversation partners to correct or change what they have said • Coherence the ability of the channel to support “sustained, topicfocused, person-to-person exchanges” (Honeycutt & Herring, 2009, p. 2)

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