Collaboration, Data Sharing, and the Research Network-As-System
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The research network-as-system operates by connecting researchers across large distances and from multiple disciplines via a web-based, technological system. Through this system, researchers collaborate simply by sharing data. The Integrated Ocean Observing System (IOOS) in the United States, and the Canadian Integrated Ocean Observing System (CIOOS), currently in development in Canada, are both examples of research networks-as-systems. By conducting semi-structured interviews with ten Canadian ocean researchers about their perception of CIOOS and their collaborative histories, this research discovered what helps and hinders in collaboration in the research network-as-system context, as well as how past and current collaboration experiences may influence researcher willingness to adapt to new network contexts. The findings of this study offer theoretical insight on researcher perception of collaboration in large, dispersed, and multidisciplinary groups, and in integrated online spaces. Further, this research provides practical direction regarding user preferences for system design in the research network-as-system context.