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Holistic model for knowledge collaboration in scientific communities of practice

Mihindu, S


S Mihindu


CO Egbu


This research sets out to develop a holistic model for Knowledge Collaboration for
scientific Communities of Practice (CoP). It, inter alia, investigates appropriate methods
which support Knowledge Collaboration of Scientific Community of Practice (SCoP). It
also identifies the main challenges associated with supporting Knowledge Collaboration
and ways of addressing specific challenges in the development of a Knowledge
Collaboration Environment (KCE) within SCoP. In addition, it establishes how individuals
within CoP and groups associated with CoP create new knowledge in collaboration.
The necessity for scientific communities to work as CoP has significantly risen in recent
years. The requirement of standard collaboration and communication tools, and appropriate
methodologies to author KCEs has been an important development for the success of
Distributed Knowledge Collaboration (DKC) activities of scientific CoP. The study addresses
key issues and gaps found in four different areas: understanding of knowledge and
Knowledge Collaboration, KCEs, tools and techniques for supporting Knowledge
Collaboration, and specific requirements of scientific communities.
The thesis employed a multi-methodological approach in conducting the study, which
included the use of questionnaire, workshop, observations, interviews, and focus groups in
obtaining data on which the study was based.
SCoP refers to those who employ the 'scientific method' for seeking, interrogating, and
creating processes and systems in conducting and advancing their work. Knowledge
Collaboration needs of SCoP are different to the needs of CoP as members of the SCoP come
from diverse backgrounds and disciplines, and their involvement is with heterogeneous work
environments. A holistic Knowledge System Model (KSM) and a live prototype to establish
the requirements related to the facilitation of Knowledge Collaboration within a SCoP was
developed and validated. This development utilises non-intrusive technologies to provide
appropriate incorporation of collaboration tools within their work environment and the
potential of multiple server integration. The KSM provides the required flexibility and
configurability within a prospective Knowledge System due to its ability to fulfil specific
needs of the SCoP.
The study recommends that members of the SCoP require Knowledge Collaboration tools
that can co-exist within their work environment but operate non-intrusively within their
professional work setting. Virtual Infrastructure integration provides the required
functionality to overcome the challenges of creating an appropriate KCE for realising
successful collaboration. The KSM facilitates the development of appropriate KCE for SCoP.
There is paramount value in embracing the holistic view of Knowledge Collaboration as
defined through the Knowledge Collaboration terminology stack and vast potential in
utilising non-intrusive client/server technology for DKC applications. The holistic model's
flexibility provides timely provision of an acceptable KCE for community collaboration.


Mihindu, S. Holistic model for knowledge collaboration in scientific communities of practice. (Thesis). Salford : University of Salford

Thesis Type Thesis
Deposit Date Oct 3, 2012
Award Date Jan 1, 2010

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