Walnut Terrace, May 5, 2009
11:00 a.m. – 12:30 p.m.
A) EthicShare: Building an Inter-Institutional Scholaraly Research Community
The University of Minnesota is developing EthicShare, an open virtual research community for scholars in the field of bioethics, funded by the Mellon Foundation. The site's development process has resulted in an environment, accessible by scholars regardless of institution, which combines a repository of sources (traditional scholarly materials, relevant popular press resources and other related content) with social, collaborative tools and features.
Thus far, social networking services have only been selectively evidenced among scholars, yet these environments hold opportunity to enable collaboration and, potentially, advance new forms of scholarship. But, while possibilities exist, there are many barriers involved in the creation of inter-institutional research sites. Copyright and licensing issues surround the citations and full text of the aggregated scholarly resources. The current behaviors and motivations of bioethics scholars, especially those surrounding the tenure and promotion process, inhibit the adoption of social spaces. Additionally, their unfamiliarity with social networking technologies requires education and policy creation.
We will discuss the extensive assessment of bioethics scholars that determined both the appropriate content and the collaborative features we incorporated into the site. Our strategy, an iterative process of assessment and development, will be explored. Finally, we will outline the development of the Drupal based tools and features within the EthicShare site that ensure scholars from all institutions can participate. This will include the Link Resolver module built to blend network provisioned data from the WorldCat Registry service with locally stored user configuration information.