A Species List of Flora is a working list of scientific descriptions of all known plants occurring within a given region. It represents an inventory in process, i.e., updates and new plant species are added every working day. The Flora checklist has an important value for the scientific community, government, industry and society, since it gathers accurate data on flora diversity. Knowing the Brazilian flora has been a commitment assumed by Brazil towards the international community. In 2009, the Rio de Janeiro Botanical Garden, in a joint action with several research institutions, started the development of a Virtual Research Environment based on crowdsourcing. The aim of the project was to support the collaborative and distributed work of an undefined number of pre-qualified trained taxonomists, grouped in their specialties. This article describes the technological aspects related to the ongoing work on the List of Species of the Brazilian Flora, which is a recent example of success in building a knowledge database collaboratively. It describes the mechanisms used for determining individual characteristics of potential participants (target audience), the means of collaboration and communication, as well as the technological platform developed to support a web-based crowdsourcing design for Virtual Research Environment. Some information on both the performance of the team of about 600 researchers and the quality of information produced are presented, also including some of the lessons learned and recommendations for future action.
Citizen Science projects are characterized by mass collaboration of ordinary citizens with scientific research. The advent of new crowdware technologies and the ease of access made possible by the Internet are reshaping the way people and scientific organizations work together. However, the particular nature of this form of collaboration requires a tailored approach that increases the chances of all involved parties meet their expectations and achieve their goals. We propose a conceptual framework to help Citizen Science enterprises in conceiving their crowdsourcing strategy and designing their collaboration systems. It departs from basic principles of traditional marketing models and incorporates the specific requirements of this increasingly popular but also complex form of web-based collaborative work.
This study investigated international developments in Virtual Research Communities (VRCs) and to evaluate them in relation to the activities in the JISC’s VRE programme. The study examined programmes in a number of key countries along with significant projects and communities as well as some countries where developments on this front are just beginning. There has been a great deal of activity over the past few years in terms of prototype and demonstration systems moving into the mainstream of research practice. Notable trends are emerging as researchers increasingly apply collaborative systems to everyday research tasks.
Software tests have a high impact on the cost of software development. In practice, they are generally created at random and without any methodology, and do not have sufficient documentation. Commonly used approaches also perform the tests outside the application environment (e.g. web servers and containers). Besides, the test cases are usually restricted to target business components behavior, leaving a huge gap by not evaluating the presentation layer. Most of these practices can be explained by the overhead required to maintain manually the whole test artifacts. Applying a Model-based Approach (MBA), the creation and maintenance of test artifacts can be automated. This paper proposes a method that applies the Model-driven Architecture (MDA), a strategy of MBA, to determine the flow of test cases. The proposed method was based on the use of Unified Modeling Language (UML) activity diagrams. These diagrams allow determining the test flows and the objective of each activity, such as testing of business and presentation layers. Moreover, the generated test artifacts allow for performing the tests inside the application environment.
A comprehensive new inventory of Brazilian plants and fungi was published just in time to meet a 2010 Convention on Biological
Diversity target and offers important insights into this biodiversity's global significance. Brazil is the home to the world's
richest flora (40,989 species; 18,932 endemic) and includes two of the hottest hotspots: Mata Atlântica (19,355 species) and
Cerrado (12,669 species). Although the total number of known species is one-third lower than previous estimates, the absolute
number of endemic vascular plant species is higher than was previously estimated, and the proportion of endemism (56%) is
the highest in the Neotropics. This compilation serves not merely to quantify the scale of the challenge faced in conserving
Brazil's unique flora but also serves as a key resource to direct action and monitor progress. Similar efforts by other megadiverse
countries are urgently required if the 2020 targets of the Convention on Biological Diversity and the Global Strategy for
Plant Conservation are to be attained.
Online floras provide research botanists with the opportunity to work on floristic treatments dynamically, and enable users to browse and search these treatments. A web-based program called eFloras (URL: http://www.efloras.org/) was developed to enable access to online "electronic" floras. Through a web interface to the data, users can browse online floristic treatments by volume, family, and genus, and can search by name, distributional data, and text. With the use of web forms, editors and authors with permissions can correct and update the data.
In recent years crowdsourcing has increased in popularity as a method for gathering ideas for new innovations and providing solutions to existing problems. This means that firms apply the wisdom of crowds to certain tasks and challenges. Various crowdsourcing initiatives and platforms seem to provide new channels and ways to enable this in practice. The purpose of this paper is to examine how business-to-business (B2B) firms can interact with different groups of contributors in order to receive new ideas, feedback and solutions for improving their products and services. Based on theoretical conceptualization, combined with empirical evidence, we propose a layered framework for approaching crowdsourcing in a B2B context. The empirical results of this paper reveal benefits but also practical challenges to overcome before crowdsourcing can be effectively utilized in the B2B sector.
A new generation of information and communication infrastructures, including advanced Internet computing and Grid technologies, promises to enable more direct and shared access to more widely distributed computing resources than was previously possible. Scientific and technological collaboration, consequently, is more and more coming to be seen as critically dependent upon effective access to, and sharing of digital research data, and of the information tools that facilitate data being structured for efficient storage, search, retrieval, display and higher level analysis. The February 2003 report of the Atkins Committee to the US NSF Directorate of Computer and Information System Engineering urged that funding be provided for a major enhancement of computer and network technologies, thereby creating a cyberinfrastructure whose facilities would support and transform the conduct of scientific and engineering research. The articulation of this programmatic vision reflects a widely shared expectation that solving the technical engineering problems associated with the advanced hardware and software systems of the cyberinfrastructure will yield revolutionary payoffs by empowering individual researchers and increasing the scale, scope and flexibility of collective research enterprises. Animated by much the same vision, the UK e-Science Core Programme has been engaged in developing an array of open standards middleware platforms, intended to support Grid enabled science and engineering research. This paper, however, argues that engineering breakthroughs alone will not be enough to achieve the outcomes envisaged for these undertakings. Success in realizing the potential of e-Science - and other global collaborative activities supported by the 'cyberinfrastructure '- if it is to be achieved, will more likely be the resultant of a nexus of interrelated social, legal and technical transformations. The socio-institutional elements of a new infrastructure supporting research collaborations - that is to say, its supposedly 'softer' (non-engineering) parts - are every bit as complicated as the hardware and computer software, and, indeed, may prove much harder to devise and implement. The roots of this latter class of challenges facing 'e-Science' lie in the micro- and meso-level incentive structures created by the existing legal and administrative regimes. Although a number of these same conditions and circumstances appear to be equally significant obstacles to commercial provision of Grid services in inter-organizational contexts, the domain of publicly supported scientific collaboration will provide a more hospitable environment in which to experiment with a variety of new approaches to solving these problems. Towards that end, several 'solution modalities' can be proposed that feature a modular contractual approach to the flexible design of research collaboration agreements. The basic principles and the institutional mode of implementation that will be suggested are sufficiently general that they could also be made applicable for fields of information-intensive collaboration in business and finance that must regularly transcend organizational boundaries.
Strategic alliances are increasingly common, as many organizations look towards various partnering arrangements. This second edition of Strategies of Cooperation extends the first edition's clear and comprehensive survey of strategic alliances. Presenting different disciplinary perspectives (economics, strategy, organization theory) and numerous examples from the corporate world. The text has been thoroughly revised and updated, taking account of new theoretical models, and its coverage of case studies has been extended. It will be ideal for business students and managers alike wishing to understand the challenges of managing alliances. Available in OSO: http://www.oxfordscholarship.com/oso/public/content/management/9780199266241/toc.html