Ecoinformatics Conference Service, Environmental Information Management 2008

Web-based collaboration in an ecology think-tank

Shaun Walbridge, Mark Schildhauer, Jim Regetz, Matthew Jones, Rick Reeves

Last modified: 2008-08-21


Rising costs of transportation, inherent limitations of email communication and the ad hoc collaboration methods typically employed in virtual meetings has led NCEAS to implement software solutions that provide integrated mechanisms for working together remotely. Focusing on the current needs of working group participants we have found a mix of easy to use technology that facilitates and encourages collaboration in key areas such as: group discussion, literature review, document sharing and event scheduling. By providing low-barrier mechanisms to store documents, data and communications, groups are able to use the tools throughout the lifecycle of their research. Participants have access to important items including initial literature, ephemeral documents, interim results and drafts, and finished products. Capturing metadata and data within the Metacat system is a planned extension that will provide searchable, durable storage for valuable data products.