Supporting Virtual Communities through Disciplinary Repository Development

Reznik-Zellen, R. and Adamick, J.. (2012) Supporting Virtual Communities through Disciplinary Repository Development. Library Hi Tech, 30 (2). pp. 275-290.

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Purpose - This article aims to discuss the implementation of social networking tools onto existing disciplinary repository platforms - both commercial and open source - with the purpose of building enhanced disciplinary repository-based virtual communities. Design/methodology/approach - This article is a case study. The University of Massachusetts Amherst has served as a test-bed for two disciplinary repository-based virtual communities, InterNano and ESENCe, both of which serve as examples for the development of features that facilitate social connections in emerging multi-disciplinary fields. Two different approaches to the technical implementation of social networking tools onto standard disciplinary repository software platforms are described, as well as the challenges faced by each project. Findings - Although disciplinary repositories are not typically conceived as social spaces, disciplinary repositories can integrate social networking components to act as ``knowledge brokers'' for emerging disciplines of practice. The challenges of developing disciplinary repositories as virtual communities include software limitations, community integration and trust building, and identification and acquisition of relevant content in emerging and dynamic fields. Originality/value - InterNano and ESENCe represent the growing long-tail of disciplinary repositories, about which little literature exists. This case study demonstrates the activities and challenges of developing small-scale multi-disciplinary disciplinary repositories into active virtual communities.

Item Type: Article
Additional Information: ISI Document Delivery No.: 973SSTimes Cited: 0Cited Reference Count: 12Reznik-Zellen, Rebecca Adamick, JessicaEmerald group publishing limitedBingley
Uncontrolled Keywords: networking sites
Collections: Nanomanufacturing Research Collection > Nanomanufacturing Nanoscale Science and Engineering Centers > Center for Hierarchical Manufacturing
Depositing User: Robert Stevens
Date Deposited: 26 Mar 2014
Last Modified: 26 Mar 2014 19:43

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