THE FISH MODEL: A CONCEPTUAL FRAMEWORK FOR ENHANCING E-RESEARCH COLLABORATION

B. Mohamed, D. Pscheida, T. Koehler

Dresden University of Technology, Media Center (GERMANY)
It is questionable if and how doctoral students are motivated for enhanced scientific collaboration. Little is known about the methods necessary to design various activities to support such collaboration. As scholars suspect that Web 2.0 services play a decisive role in enhancing research collaboration, this paper begins with an overview of the current usage of Web 2.0 by PhD students in the German Federal state, Saxony, in daily academic work. Furthermore, the authors propose a conceptual framework that reflects the requirements of scientific participation and collaboration within a doctoral program at the Technical University Dresden in the current digital age. The aim of this framework is to understand, support and enhance scientific collaboration among PhD students across different disciplines. As a conceptual model, the fish model could help scholars to understand the processes of collaboration and the factors that drive scientific distribution among doctoral students in academia. As such, the fish model of scientific collaboration includes four dichotomous concepts that should be considered the main factors for supporting e-research collaboration, including: (a) daily scientific tasks vs. time factor; (b) self-regulated research vs. nature of activity (c) support of technology vs. context; and (d) incentives vs. ethical issue. The conceptual reflections of this paper are integrated into a joint research project undertaken at all Saxon universities, “eScience – research network”, which explores new perspectives and the development of new practices in academia through digital technologies.