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Thesis Details
TitleMaking sense of Computer Supported Cooperative Work: A taxonomy of terminology
AuthorWard, Sylvia Ann
InstitutionCentral Queensland University
AbstractThere are four contributions of this research: 1) confirmation of inconsistent use of terminology in the Computer Supported Cooperative Work (CSCW) research field; 2) the development of a hierarchical terminology technique that extends the idea of cognitive mapping into a hierarchy of concepts and dictionary of related definitions; 3) a taxonomy of terminology showing the boundary of the CSCW research field; and 4) a dictionary of definitions relating to the terminology in the taxonomy. The investigation of prior research in this field found that there was a proliferation of terms all relating to support of groups, and there was a proliferation of software and systems that support groups. However, the terminology and definitions used by researchers were found to be inconsistent, with some terms being defined differently, but then used interchangeably. Inconsistency makes it difficult to determine what technology is being used in the research and where a research study fits into the research field. Knowledge of any research field is mainly gained through reading published research documents. This research analysed published documents in Computer Supported Cooperative Work (CSCW) to determine the scope, structure and meaning of the terminology used in this research field. The research resulted in a hierarchy of terminology and a dictionary of definitions. Future research will determine the value of these structures for new researchers, experienced researchers, and practitioners. During the investigation of prior research no technique was identified to undertake such a study. A hierarchical terminology technique (HTT), which is a form of content analysis process, was developed to structure a hierarchy of concepts to expose the relationships between terms. This technique includes terminology identification, analysis and presentation to show the scope of a research field and to present terminology and definitions to improve consistency. This technique can be used in other fields of study.
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