Online Networked Research


I think there will be a big future for networked approaches to research, that enable researchers (and people) from around the world to collaboratively and often publicly perform research analysis.

For instance, if a dataset can be placed on the internet as a series of resources that can be rated, it may be possible to have volunteer researchers (or people) from around the world to score a collection of videos/essays/responses. Raters can be first asked to input their details (country, title, field, years of research experience, etc) so that their responses can be analysed with this in consideration.

Advantages of this approach include:

  • clarity – the exact nature of the study is immediately obvious; whereas in a research paper the method may be somewhat ambiguous or difficult to interpret, people can at once log onto the networked research site to observe the approach applied.
  • reliability – all methods are easy to see and check so that there is less chance of calculation error or interpretation error
  • power – more people can be involved, further promoting reliability
  • cost – once online networked research systems become popular, setting one up (based on open source code, say) should be relatively cheap, and as long as it is possible to find people willing to participate in analysis there may be lower personnel costs too.
  • demographic analysis of raters – with enough raters it may be possible to analyse the nature and reliability of ratings across different categories of research experience, country of origin etc.

Online Networked Research – another idea for the future.

About matthewbower

Professor at Macquarie University.
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