ECSCW 2007: Proceedings of the 10th European Conference on Computer-Supported Cooperative Work

24-28 September 2007, Limerick, Ireland

General Chairs: Liam Bannon, University of Limerick, Ireland, Ina Wagner, Technical University of Vienna, Austria
Program Chairs: Richard Harper, Microsoft Research Cambridge, UK, Carl Gutwin, University of Saskatchewan, Canada

This volume presents the proceedings of the tenth European conference on Computer Supported Cooperative Work (CSCW). This is a multidisciplinary area that embraces the development of new technologies grounded in actual cooperative practices. These proceedings contain a collection of papers that reflects the breadth and depth of research activities in this field. The volume includes papers addressing novel interaction technologies for CSCW systems, new models and architectures for groupware systems, studies of communication and coordination among mobile actors, studies of cooperative work in complex settings, studies of groupware systems in actual use in real-world settings, and theories and techniques to support the development of cooperative applications. The papers present emerging technologies alongside new methods and approaches to the development of this important class of applications.

The work in this volume provides a snapshot of the current state of research and practice within CSCW. The collection of papers presented here will appeal to researchers and practitioners alike, as they combine an understanding of the nature of work with the possibilities offered by new technologies.

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    Semi-Synchronous Conflict Detection and Resolution in Asynchronous Software Development
    (ECSCW 2007: Proceedings of the 10th European Conference on Computer-Supported Cooperative Work, 2007) Dewan, Prasun; Hegde, Rajesh
    Previous work has found that (a) when software is developed collaboratively, concurrent accesses to related pieces of code are made, and (b) when these accesses are coordinated asynchronously through a version control system, they result in increased defects because of conflicting concurrent changes. Previous findings also show that distance collaboration aggravates software-development problems and radical colocation reduces them. These results motivate a semi-synchronous distributed computersupported model that allows programmers creating code asynchronously to synchronously collaborate with each other to detect and resolve potentially conflicting tasks before they have completed the tasks. We describe, illustrate, and evaluate a new model designed to meet these requirements. Our results show that the model can catch conflicts at editing time that would be expensive to manage at later times.
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    "...and do it the usual way": fostering awareness of work conventions in document-mediated collaboration
    (ECSCW 2007: Proceedings of the 10th European Conference on Computer-Supported Cooperative Work, 2007) Cabitza, Federico; Simone, Carla
    In this paper, we concentrate on how conventions among practitioners are put at work for the sake of cooperation in those work settings where coordination is mediated at a large extent by complex webs of documental artifacts. Our case study focuses on coordinative conventions exhibited in the hospital domain and mediated by compound patient records. We conceive of the provision of document-mediated awareness information as a “learning device” by which these conventions can be made explicit in all those situations where practitioners need support in coping with and solving cooperative problems in the articulation of their activities. To enable such a context-dependent and usercentered provision of awareness, we also present and outline the WOAD framework that provides users and designers with a conceptual model and language aimed at facilitating the construction of a convention- and collaboration-aware layer on top of traditional architectures of electronic documental systems. To this aim, we take the case of the Electronic Patient Record (EPR) as paradigmatic
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    A safe space to vent: Conciliation and conflict in distributed teams
    (ECSCW 2007: Proceedings of the 10th European Conference on Computer-Supported Cooperative Work, 2007) Billings, Matt; Watts, Leon A.
    This paper considers the nature of conflict in relation to the environments within which distributed teams cooperate. Effective conflict management can bring great benefits to distributed teams, while inadequate conflict resolution strategies can incur significant personal and resource costs. The increased geographical, cognitive and emotional distances between members can stimulate and amplify conflict. Parties may display disinhibited behaviour (flaming) or may be reluctant to accept reconciliatory overtures (low trust). These factors can be attributed to the impact of communication technology on social structures that underlie interaction. Shifting to face-to-face meetings can be impractical or involve prohibitive cost, so it is important to establish how best to deal with conflict in technologically-mediated settings. Dispute resolution practitioners (conciliators) have evolved strategies and techniques to construct and regulate "safe-spaces"
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    Designing Family Photo Displays
    (ECSCW 2007: Proceedings of the 10th European Conference on Computer-Supported Cooperative Work, 2007) Taylor, Alex S.; Swan, Laurel; Durrant, Abigail
    We present efforts to explore the relatively underdeveloped area of digital photo display. Using examples from two empirical studies with family homes, we develop our results around three broad themes related to the display of photos and their arrangement. The first theme highlights the collaborative as well as individual work that goes into preparing photos for display. The second attends to the obligations families have to put particular photos on display. The third introduces the notion of curatorial control and the tensions that arise from one person controlling a home’s photo displays. Drawing on these themes, we go on to describe how we have used a critical design approach to open up the possibilities for future display innovations. Three critical design proposals are presented as sketches to illustrate the development of our ideas to date.
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    The Awareness Network: To Whom Should I Display My Actions? And, Whose Actions Should I Monitor?
    (ECSCW 2007: Proceedings of the 10th European Conference on Computer-Supported Cooperative Work, 2007) de Souza, Cleidson R. B.; Redmiles, David
    The concept of awareness has come to play a central role in CSCW research. The coordinative practices of displaying and monitoring have received attention and have led to different venues of research, from computational tool support, such as media spaces and event propagation mechanisms, to ethnographic studies of work. However, these studies have overlooked a different aspect of awareness practices: the identification of the social actors who should be monitored and the actors to whom their actions should be displayed. The focus of this paper is on how social actors answer the following questions: to whom should I display my actions? And, whose actions should I monitor? Ethnographic data from two software development teams are used to answer these questions. In addition, we illustrate how software developers’ work practices are influenced by three different factors: the organizational setting, the age of the project, and the software architecture.
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    Instrumental action: the timely exchange of implements during surgical operations
    (ECSCW 2007: Proceedings of the 10th European Conference on Computer-Supported Cooperative Work, 2007) Svensson, Marcus Sanchez; Heath, Christian; Luff, Paul
    In this paper we analyse an apparently simple collaborative activity, that of passing an implement from one person to another. The particular case we consider is surgical operations where nurses and surgeons routinely pass instruments to one another. Through fine-grained analysis of specific instances we address,- the preparatory work engaged in prior to passing, the ways in which the layout of artefacts is organised with respect to the temporal ordering of the activity, and how this arrangement can be reconfigured in the light of problems and circumstances that arise in an operation. We examine how passing an implement is finely shaped within the course of its articulation with regard to emerging actions of the participants. We suggest that an analysis of fine details of seemingly simple activities with objects may have implications for our understanding of collaborative work, and a one or two key concepts that have informed the design of advanced solutions.
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    Prior-to-request and request behaviors within elderly day care: Implications for developing service robots for use in multiparty settings
    (ECSCW 2007: Proceedings of the 10th European Conference on Computer-Supported Cooperative Work, 2007) Yamazaki, Keiichi; Kawashima, Michie; Kuno, Yoshinori; Akiya, Naonori; Burdelski, Matthew; Yamazaki, Akiko; Kuzuoka, Hideaki
    The rapidly expanding elderly population in Japan and other industrialized countries has posed an enormous challenge to the systems of healthcare that serve elderly citizens. This study examines naturally occurring interaction within elderly day care in Japan, and discusses the implications for developing robotic systems that can provide service in elderly care contexts. The interaction analysis focuses on prior-to-request and request behaviors involving elderly visitors and caregivers in multiparty settings. In particular, it delineates the ways caregivers’ displays of availability affects elderly visitors’ behavior prior to initiating a request, revealing that visitors observe caregivers prior to initiating a request, and initiation is contingent upon caregivers’ displayed availability. The findings are discussed in relation to our work in designing an autonomous and remote- controlled robotic system that can be employed in elderly day care centers and other service contexts.
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    Cues to Common Knowledge
    (ECSCW 2007: Proceedings of the 10th European Conference on Computer-Supported Cooperative Work, 2007) Bryan-Kinns, N.; Healey, P. G. T.; Papworth, D.; Vaduuva, A.
    We show that asynchronous collaboration can be made more effective by providing cues to common knowledge. We demonstrate this by empirically comparing two user interfaces used to support collaborative work. Our position is that effective collaboration is characterized by more co-ordinated and speculative interaction, and that cues to common knowledge help participants develop common ground for interaction. We also suggest that more effective collaboration is indicated by increased reliance on expectations of others’ knowledge which is characterized by implicit references to shared documents and ideas
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    Seeing Ethnographically: Teaching ethnography as part of CSCW
    (ECSCW 2007: Proceedings of the 10th European Conference on Computer-Supported Cooperative Work, 2007) Brown, Barry; Lundin, Johan; Rost, Mattias; Lymer, Gustav; Holmquist, Lars Erik
    While ethnography is an established part of CSCW research, teaching and learning ethnography presents unique and distinct challenges. This paper discusses a study of fieldwork and analysis amongst a group of students learning ethnography as part of a CSCW & design course. Studying the students’ practices we explore fieldwork as a learning experience, both learning about fieldsites as well as learning the practices of ethnography. During their fieldwork and analysis the students used a wiki to collaborate, sharing their field and analytic notes. From this we draw lessons for how ethnography can be taught as a collaborative analytic process and discuss extensions to the wiki to better support its use for collaborating around fieldnotes. In closing we reflect upon the role of learning ethnography as a practical hands on – rather than theoretical – pursuit.