April 13-17, 2010
Denver, Colorado, USA

Sessions: Abstract

Building an online research community: The Reciprocal Research Network   go to paper

Nicholas Jakobsen, Museum of Anthropology, Canada
Susan Rowley, Museum of Anthropology, Canada
Dave Schaepe, Stó:lō Research and Resource Management, Canada
Leona Sparrow, Musqueam Indian Band, Canada
Ryan Wallace, University of British Columbia, Canada
Andrea Sanborn, U’mista Cultural Society, Canada
Ulrike Radermacher, University of British Columbia, Canada
Hannah Turner, Museum of Anthropology, UBC
Sivia Sadofsky, Museum of Anthropology, University of British Columbia, Canada
Tristan Goffman, University of British Columbia

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 Stó: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.

Session: Multi-Institutional Collaboration: Process [organizations]

Keywords: collaboration, multi-institutional, data sharing, user submitted content, research, on-line community