Elements of a Functional Collaboratory
The diagram reproduced overleaf shows the elements of a functional collaboratory—the kinds of connections between scientific and engineering applications and functions and the enabling technology and research objectives envisioned for a national collaboratory as discussed at an NSF-sponsored invitational workshop. The diagram organizes the discussion into levels. The top level is a sampling of applications. The next level is a breakdown of general scientific functions common to most scientific projects. An example of a scientific function is obtaining peer commentary. Different projects emphasize these functions to different degrees. The next level presents some collaborative functions. An example of a collaborative function is co-authoring a document. In general, these functions are typical of a number of different scientific disciplines. The next level describes some collaboration tools and systems that support one or more collaborative functions. The bottom two levels correspond to theories and technologies (infrastructure) that are used in the creation of tools. A program for a national collaboratory would include activities at all of these levels.
Prepared by Mark Stefik, Xerox Palo Alto Research Center, this diagram is reprinted from Towards a National Collaboratory, the unpublished report of an invitational workshop held at Rockefeller University on March 17-18, 1989 (Joshua Lederberg and Keith Uncapher, co-chairs).