Museums and the Web

An annual conference exploring the social, cultural, design, technological, economic, and organizational issues of culture, science and heritage on-line.

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Building an online research community: The Reciprocal Research Network

TitleBuilding an online research community: The Reciprocal Research Network
Publication TypeConference Paper
Year of Publication2010
AuthorsRowley, S., Sparrow L., Schaepe D., Sanborn A., Wallace R., Jakobsen N., Radermacher U., Sadofsky S., Goffman T., & Turner H.
Secondary TitleMuseums and the Web
Conference Start DateApril 13-17, 201
PublisherArchives & Museum Informatics
Place PublishedDenver, Colorado, USA
EditorTrant, J., & Bearman D.
Keywordscollaboration, data sharing, multi-institutional, on-line community, research, user submitted content

Museums face many challenges when building on-line collaborative networks to engage diverse knowledge communities. In this paper we explore the emergence of one such system, the Reciprocal Research Network (RRN), launched in March of 2010. During development, the RRN team explored and tested methods to overcome challenges commonly faced by museums undertaking similar projects. Here we discuss how the RRN is affecting research, why it is having this effect, and what course the development process followed.The RRN creates an on-line research community, allowing geographically dispersed users to collaborate while studying cultural objects held in institutions around the world. Museums and other cultural institutions are contributing their data to the RRN in order to facilitate this research. Diverse user groups, including indigenous communities, share their own perspectives and knowledge with the people and institutions that make up the RRN community.The Reciprocal Research Network was co-developed by three First Nations communities, the Musqueam Indian Band, the StÛ:lō Nation/Tribal Council, and the U'mista Cultural Society, along with the Museum of Anthropology (MOA) at the University of British Columbia. A dozen museums also participated in the development process.