e-Research Infrastructure and Community Research
Research is increasingly being conducted by multi-stakeholder teams which include the researchers themselves, funding authorities, industry collaborators and community stakeholders inside and outside universities, all of whom have dynamic requirements relating to research data, research artefacts and products, and published outcomes. While the physical location of electronic research resources is of decreasing importance, control and ownership, as reflected in intellectual property policies and ethical requirements, have become highly contested within several communities.
Such issues become even more complex when dealing with emergent participatory modes of e-Research, which influence:
Empowerment of participants in the research.
Recognition of different ways of researching.
Institutional commitment to the long-term maintenance of a research repository.
Adaptive research teams which are comfortable with electronic interactions.
New legal ownership and access rights, and terms and conditions of use.
This paper deliberately focuses on the challenging area of participatory e-Research in order to surface the widest possible range of issues. It is designed to explore governance frameworks that can be applied in new e-Community contexts, and to identify the user needs of participants. It forms part of a new paradigm, which stresses the importance of facilitating participation, by addressing issues which arise about the new management principles required for the authenticity, accessibility, disposition and preservation of electronic research resources for multiple purposes.
The prime focus of the paper will be an investigation as to how well repositories and archival services, as they are presently constituted, meet the needs of communities. It will discuss issues including: empowerment, research frameworks, design and methods; and how to conduct ethical research with communities, including protocols, intellectual property, ownership of research data and of outcomes.
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