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Coordinating the specification process of research network information systems: Methodological design principles.

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aom96.PDF COORDINATING THE SPECIFICATION PROCESS OF INFORMATION SYSTEMS FOR RESEARCH NETWORKS: METHODOLOGICAL DESIGN PRINCIPLES 1 Aldo de Moor Infolab, Tilburg University2 ABSTRACT The rationale for a specification method for research network information systems (RENISYS) is discussed. Some methodological foundations are formulated, resulting in a number of design principles. These state that the specification method must be user-driven, context-sensitive, discoursive, formal, and dynamic. The principles are used to analyze several related types of methods: traditional workflow modelling methods, speech-act based workflow modelling methods, norm-oriented methods, and neo-humanist methods. Actor- centered, context-constrained process composition is presented as the core specification approach to be used in RENISYS. INTRODUCTION The scientific research process is rapidly changing from a relatively solitary operation into a much more collaborative effort (Shade, 1994). Research networks, which focus on facilitating the research process, play an important role in this transformation by acting as catalysts of cooperation. These networks can have many roles: coordinating the production of scientific reports, disseminating scientific knowledge to the public, offering advice in societal conflicts, evaluating scientific publications , and so on. Furthermore, research networks are often international, interdisciplinary, and interactive in nature, which only increases their complexity (De Moor, 1994). A research network can be considered a professional network: a human network which supports its members in accomplishing individual and shared professional goals. This goal-orientedness is one of the crucial distinguishing characteristics of professional networks. Most of the current research networks are still in a rather informal, individual-supporting stage. However, the more interesting roles research networks can play are those aimed at furthering shared group goals. This demands that t

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