Conceptualizing and advancing research networking systems

Titus Schleyer, Brian S. Butler, Mei Song, Heiko Spallek

Research output: Contribution to journalReview article

15 Scopus citations


Science in general, and biomedical research in particular, is becoming more collaborative. As a result, collaboration with the right individuals, teams, and institutions is increasingly crucial for scientific progress. We propose Research Networking Systems (RNS) as a new type of system designed to help scientists identify and choose collaborators, and suggest a corresponding research agenda. The research agenda covers four areas: foundations, presentation, architecture, and evaluation. Foundations includes project-, institutionand discipline-specific motivational factors; the role of social networks; and impression formation based on information beyond expertise and interests. Presentation addresses representing expertise in a comprehensive and up-to-date manner; the role of controlled vocabularies and folksonomies; the tension between seekers' need for comprehensive information and potential collaborators' desire to control how they are seen by others; and the need to support serendipitous discovery of collaborative opportunities. Architecture considers aggregation and synthesis of information from multiple sources, social system interoperability, and integration with the user's primary work context. Lastly, evaluation focuses on assessment of collaboration decisions, measurement of user-specific costs and benefits, and how the large-scale impact of RNS could be evaluated with longitudinal and naturalistic methods. We hope that this article stimulates the humancomputer interaction, computer-supported cooperative work, and related communities to pursue a broad and comprehensive agenda for developing research networking systems.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number2
JournalACM Transactions on Computer-Human Interaction
Issue number1
StatePublished - Mar 2012


  • Online knowledge communities
  • Social networks
  • Social software
  • Web 2.0
  • Web 2.0 applications
  • Web collaborative software

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Human-Computer Interaction

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