The What and How of IM Functions in Distributed Scientific Collaboration

N.N. Binti Abdullah and S. Honiden (Japan)


Instant messaging, distributed scientific collaboration, activity theory, human computer interaction


This paper is case study concerning computer scientists collaborating during an actual European Union scientific project on the instant messaging (i.e., IM). The goal of the case study is to understand what are the functions of the IM for the collaborators and how do they use those functions? Chat logs between the two collaborators were retrieved from the period of 7 months (i.e., 193 days). Based on the chat logs, we narrow down to particular events. A qualitative and semantic analysis was performed on the selected events. Results obtained showed that the function of the IM and how the collaborators used those functions was tied to the collaborator’s role, experiences and project events. This paper discusses the results.

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