Faculty of Economics and Business Administration Publications Database

From Traditional Research to "Science 2.0" -- Introducing an Evaluation Framework for Web-Based Research Concepts

Krönung, Julia
Year: 2010

The continuing growth of Web 2.0 applications and the increased collaboration through these socio-technical platforms reorder whole disciplines and industries. The resultant facilitation of worldwide communication and cooperation also offers compelling opportunities for education and research. With Open Access as basic paradigm, Science 2.0 refers to new practices of researchers who publish, communicate or organize their work by using Web 2.0 technologies. The research aim of this paper is twofold. Since it is a multi-faceted paradigm and due to its heterogeneous applications difficult to comprehend, we first attempt to define Science 2.0 by delineating it from related concepts. Second, after describing prevalent Science 2.0 applications, we develop a framework for evaluating those. In detail, we address the following research questions: What is Science 2.0? From which applications can a scientist choose from, if he/she wants to apply Science 2.0? Which factors determine the value of a specific Science 2.0 application for an individual scientist or a research group? It is suggested that when calculating the value of a specific application or concept, the expected benefits (e.g., time saving, cost reduction, quality improvement), risks and efforts on the one side, and the suitability to the underlying research purpose on the other side should be taken into account. To be effective for a specific research purpose, the Science 2.0 application has to match the functional focus (Information vs. Communication vs. Organization) and non-functional requirements (e.g. ease of use, reliability) on the one hand. On the other hand, the applications must meet the needs of the respective scientific environment (e.g., research group, target community, content type). As theoretical contribution the paper provides a detailed classification of Science 2.0. In practice, the framework could serve as decision support for an individual scientist or a research team when choosing a Science 2.0 application to work with.