About this paper

Appears in:
Pages: 5808-5813
Publication year: 2010
ISBN: 978-84-614-2439-9
ISSN: 2340-1095

Conference name: 3rd International Conference of Education, Research and Innovation
Dates: 15-17 November, 2010
Location: Madrid, Spain


The current technological development of the information and communication sciences, added to the need of creating new working environment without geographical limits, has motivated the development of new methodologies in order to facilitate the knowledge exchange from everywhere in the world.
The origin of the concept “collaborator” refers to the integration of two concepts: “collaboration” and “laboratory”, and it describes a “wall free center”; a virtual space for network based on a flexible and participative learning, as described by William Wulf when firstly created this word in 1989 (Unesco, 2000).
Nowadays, an exponential growth of the international networks with collaboratories´ structure has taken place as an innovative option of reorganizing the scientific activity (Méndez et al, 2009). This reorientation implies a enormous challenge to the traditional methods an an important investment for the research development at all levels. The “collaboratories” can be integrated in the investigative field as well as in the educative context, where it can be materialized with the creation of shared spaces where different professionals with common areas of interest can work around a relevant topic. This interdisciplinary and cross-border contribution is the defining characteristic of this emerging methodology.

The design and functioning of the “collaboratories” depends on their main objective and the application settings. Overall, the basic structure required for an adequate dynamic should include a dedicated research support service at big scale, including a laboratory network, a provision of accessible remote research tools and a group of scientists´ network, characterized by their participation in a specific research community.
There are different virtual applications and specific tools to facilitate the work developed through these “collaboratories” mainly focused on the use of application of mobile phones technology, videoconferences, shared applications and “virtual presence”.

The creation of these “virtual laboratories” is part of a new knowledge culture, which main contributions are:
-The possibility of establishing specific studies through a solid structure where a group of experts on different fields work coordinately with a common objective.
-Access to virtual resources and specific settings
-Creation of interdisciplinary teams in joined projects, optimizing the use of the available resources without geographical barriers.
Within the most important areas of application of these “collaboratories” it can be mentioned the following:
-Teamwork at worldwide level in the collection and data utilization.
-Search of new multidisciplinary relationships about health and environment.
-Analysis of synergies with the added value ot international and multicultural collaborations.
-Scientific consensus establishment to reach set objectives.

Conclusions and implications for practice
This creative methodology, emergent in some countries and already consolidated in some other, represents an innovative system to promote the knowledge exchange between different scientific fields: from the educational context to economical, social and health sciences. Therefore, it includes a new and wide range of possibilities with important contributions in the generation and transmission of knowledge at international level, based on a collaborative approach and the utilization of the new technologies.
author = {Mariscal Crespo, M.I. and Merino Navarro, D. and Arenas Fern{\'{a}}ndez, J. and Camacho Bejarano, R. and Paladini Bracho, I. and Mart{\'{i}}n Mariscal, A.},
series = {3rd International Conference of Education, Research and Innovation},
booktitle = {ICERI2010 Proceedings},
isbn = {978-84-614-2439-9},
issn = {2340-1095},
publisher = {IATED},
location = {Madrid, Spain},
month = {15-17 November, 2010},
year = {2010},
pages = {5808-5813}}
AU - M.I. Mariscal Crespo AU - D. Merino Navarro AU - J. Arenas Fernández AU - R. Camacho Bejarano AU - I. Paladini Bracho AU - A. Martín Mariscal
SN - 978-84-614-2439-9/2340-1095
PY - 2010
Y1 - 15-17 November, 2010
CI - Madrid, Spain
JO - 3rd International Conference of Education, Research and Innovation
JA - ICERI2010 Proceedings
SP - 5808
EP - 5813
ER -
M.I. Mariscal Crespo, D. Merino Navarro, J. Arenas Fernández, R. Camacho Bejarano, I. Paladini Bracho, A. Martín Mariscal (2010) THE "COLLABORATORY" AS A RESEARCH VIRTUAL SPACE, ICERI2010 Proceedings, pp. 5808-5813.