ECSCW 2009: Proceedings of the 11th European Conference on Computer Supported Cooperative Work

7-11 September 2009, Vienna, Austria

Conference Chair: Ina Wagner, Vienna University of Technology, Austria
Conference Vice Chair: Hilda Tellioglu, Vienna University of Technology, Austria
Programm Chairs: Ellen Balka, Simon Fraser University, Canada, Carla Simone, Universita' di Milano Bicocca, Italy

This volume presents the proceedings of ECSCW’09, the 11th European Conference on Computer Supported Cooperative Work. Each conference offers an occasion to critically review our research field, which has been multidisciplinary and committed to high scientific standards, both theoretical and methodological, from its beginning. These proceedings represent discussions and contributions to ongoing challenges. One challenge comes from emerging new technologies connected to ‘social computing’, gaming, as well as applications supporting citizen participation in their communities. As boundaries between home and work erode with the increased movement of work into home environments, and new applications further blur the once separate conceptions of work and leisure, our intellectual community faces challenges in the ways we think about and study work. Other challenges result from transformations of the world of work itself and the role of IT in these. They have been taken up in in-depth studies of design practice, software development, and manufacturing, as well as in the growing body of research on health care contexts and applications. Finally, there is the question of what is the European perspective in our community and whether it is worthwhile to anchor our research more firmly in such a perspective. Of high relevance to our field is the strong grounding of technology development in an understanding of human activity.

The nineteen full papers, four short papers and one discussion paper selected for this conference deal with and reflect on some of these challenges, thus representing the lively debate currently ongoing in our field of research.

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    (ECSCW 2009: Proceedings of the 11th European Conference on Computer Supported Cooperative Work, 2009)
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    Return On Contribution (ROC): A Metric for Enterprise Social Software
    (ECSCW 2009: Proceedings of the 11th European Conference on Computer Supported Cooperative Work, 2009) Muller, Michael J.; Freyne, Jill; Dugan, Casey; Millen, David R.; Thom-Santelli, Jennifer
    The value of enterprise social media applications, components, and users is difficult to quantify in formal economic terms such as Return On Investment. In this work we propose a different approach, based on human service to other humans. We describe a family of metrics, Return On Contribution (ROC), to assist in managing social software systems. ROC focuses on human collaboration, namely the creation and consumption of information and knowledge among employees. We show how ROC can be used to track the performance of several types of social media applications, and how ROC can help to understand the usage patterns of items within those applications, and the performance of employees who use those applications. Design implications include the importance of “lurkers” in organizational knowledge exchange, and specific types of measurements that may be of value to employees, managers, and system administrators.
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    Collaborative Practices that Support Creativity in Design
    (ECSCW 2009: Proceedings of the 11th European Conference on Computer Supported Cooperative Work, 2009) Vyas, Dhaval; Heylen, Dirk; Nijholt, Anton
    Design is a ubiquitous, collaborative and highly material activity. Because of the embodied nature of the design profession, designers apply certain collaborative practices to enhance creativity in their everyday work. Within the domain of industrial design, we studied two educational design departments over a period of eight months. Using examples from our fieldwork, we develop our results around three broad themes related to collaborative practices that support the creativity of design professionals: 1) externalization, 2) use of physical space, and 3) use of bodies. We believe that these themes of collaborative practices could provide new insights into designing technologies for supporting a varied set of design activities. We describe two conceptual collaborative systems derived from the results of our study.
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    Talking about (my) Generation': Creativity, Practice, Technology & Talk
    (ECSCW 2009: Proceedings of the 11th European Conference on Computer Supported Cooperative Work, 2009) Martin, David; O'Neill, Jacki; Randall, Dave
    This paper describes the findings of an ethnomethodological enquiry into the work of graphic designers. We explore the collaborative nature of graphic design as undertaken by a small team of designers working in a packaging design company. In doing so, we attempt to explicate the way in which practice, talk and technology are intricately bound up in such a way as to constitute a creative process. We describe a series of scenic features, ‘orderings’, and ‘talkaboutables’ which are characteristic of this process and which may be entailed in other creative contexts and hence can be important topics for CSCW design for creativity.
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    Using Annotations in a Collective and Face-to-Face Design Situation
    (ECSCW 2009: Proceedings of the 11th European Conference on Computer Supported Cooperative Work, 2009) Guibert, Sylvie; Darses, Françoise; Boujut, Jean-François
    Allowing a group of users to produce and transmit some annotations in common digital documents is nowadays a major issue for groupware systems. In this paper, we report a psychological and ergonomic study carried out on this topic in the mechanical design domain. We observed a collective design process that took place in a series of faceto-face meetings attended by the members of a design team. Our results show the minor role played by textual annotations, contrasting with the great number of figurative annotations. We also highlight that the function of annotations is not to develop parts of the solution but to provide the team members with contextual descriptions of the problem and the solution. These results are a first step towards a model of annotations in a collective face-to-face situation. They also provide interesting tracks for elaborating specifications of annotations in mediated situations.
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    On the effects of Refactoring in the Coordination of Software Development Activities
    (ECSCW 2009: Proceedings of the 11th European Conference on Computer Supported Cooperative Work, 2009) de Souza, Cleidson R. B.; Rosa, Maryanne P.; Goto, Crys S.; Costa, Jean M. R.; Treccani, Pedro J. F.
    Several empirical studies suggest that an alignment between the architecture of a software system and the coordination of development activities lead to better quality and improved performance. In this paper we investigate the possible effects of misalignments due to changes in the software architecture by describing the results of an exploratory study about the effects of refactoring in the coordination of software development activities in an open source project. We studied refactorings because they are perfect examples of changes in the software architecture. The project evaluated is the Jackrabbit, an Apache Software Foundation project. This project was analyzed using statistical tests and social networks analysis metrics. We evaluate different hypothesis regarding the impact of the refactoring process on project coordination. Initial results suggest that core software developers are especially affected by refactoring activities.
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    We can work it out: Collaborative Conflict Resolution in Model Versioning
    (ECSCW 2009: Proceedings of the 11th European Conference on Computer Supported Cooperative Work, 2009) Brosch, Petra; Seidl, Martina; Wieland, Konrad; Wimmer, Manuel
    For the versioning of code a pantheon of version control system (VCS) solutions has been realized and is successfully applied in practice. Nevertheless, when it comes to merging two different versions of one artifact, the resolution of conflicts poses a major challenge. In standard systems, the developer who performs the later commit is sole in charge of this often time-consuming, error-prone task. This commit carries the inherent danger of losing the modifications of the other developer. Recently, collaborative merge approaches for code versioning systems have been proposed to minimize this risk. In this paper we propose to apply similar techniques in the context of model versioning where the challenge of merging two versions is even more formidable due to their graph-structure and their rich semantics. In particular, modeling is used in the early phases of the software development, where a
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    Divided by a common acronym: On the fragmentation of CSCW
    (ECSCW 2009: Proceedings of the 11th European Conference on Computer Supported Cooperative Work, 2009) Schmidt, Kjeld
    CSCW is in an advanced state of fragmentation. The acronym now, by and large, denotes widely diverging research programs that, apart from a shared name, have little or nothing in common. This situation obviously calls for clarification. Recounting the prehistory and formation of CSCW, the paper shows that CSCW, as a distinct research program devoted to the development of new technologies on the basis of understanding actual cooperative work practices, arose in response to the crises in which ʻComputer Mediated Communicationʼ (CMC) and ʻOffice Automationʼ (OA) had landed by the late 1980s. The paper finally discusses the reasons why CMC, although superseded as a research paradigm by the practice-oriented program of CSCW, has gained a new lease on life in CSCW and thus why CSCW has become fragmented.
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    Information Curators in an Enterprise File-Sharing Service
    (ECSCW 2009: Proceedings of the 11th European Conference on Computer Supported Cooperative Work, 2009) Muller, Michael J.; Millen, David R.; Feinberg, Jonathan
    We report on a social-software file-sharing service within a large company. User-created collections of files were associated with increased usage of the uploaded files, especially the sharing of files from one employee to another. Employees innovated in the use of the collections features as “information curators,” an emergent lead-user role in which one employee creates named, described collections of resource for use by other employees. This role suggests new work practices and new features.