Querying Collaboration in Data Gathering and Data Production

Cite as:

Okune, Angela and Adams, James. 2018. "Querying Collaboration in Data Gathering and Data Production." In PhD Orals Document: Querying Analyses of Collaboration, created by Angela Okune and James Adams. PhD Orals Document. UC Irvine Anthropology. October.

Essay Metanarrative

This section foregrounds artifacts that have looked at collaboration in research data gathering, management, storage and data production.

The following description (drafted prior to reading the works) outlines how we were thinking about this particular research life cycle phase:

AO (July 2018): Collaboration in data gathering and production is the core focus on my project. As an ethnographer, this is the messay collaboration that takes place in the “field” between researchers and those they study. There are several possible layers of collaboration during this phase including collaboration between researchers of diverse life histories (several of the authors in this section talk about the dynamics of global North/South collaborations) as well as epistemological stances, often in interdisciplinary collaborative endeavors. Collaboration in data gathering and data production otherwise usually entails some sort of co-production of data with research interlocutors. A substantial literature exists on method and how more equitable power relations might be enacted in the research field encounter. In this section, we have also included work that thinks through the ethics of doing this kind of collaborative work across differential power relations, much of which has emerged out of feminist and indigenous scholarship.

This essay is part of a broader orals document querying collaborative formations. Works were categoried under one part of the “research life cycle” as a heuristic. Sub-essays within the orals doc can be accessed directly through the following links: Research Design (Artifacts | Analysis); Data Gathering and Production (Artifacts | Analysis); Data Analysis (Artifacts | Analysis); Artifact Production (Artifacts | Analysis); Dissemination (Artifacts | Analysis); Political Practice (Artifacts | Analysis).

Angela Okune's Orals Documents in Brief

This essay is part of three orals documents submitted by University of California, Irvine Anthropology doctoral student Angela Okune i n partial fulfillment of her requirements for advancement to candidacy. Within UCI Anthropology, the orals documents typically take the form of three documents...Read more
Schroeder, Doris, Julie Cook Lucas, François Hirsch, Solveig Fenet, and Vasantha Muthuswamy. 2018. Ethics Dumping: Case Studies from North-South Research Collaborations.

AO: This 2018 book was part of an EU funded project (TRUST) towards developing a "global code of conduct." The case studies detailed here are meant to illustrate examples of research exploitation (from collaboration).Read more

Biggs, Stephen, and Grant Smith. 1998. “Beyond Methodologies: Coalition-Building for Participatory Technology Development.” World Development 26 (2): 239–48.

Abstract: "Participatory and other approaches to technology development have shared a recent preoccupation with specific methods and doubts about just how much can be expected of the methods themselves, as opposed to how they are applied, by whom, and in what circumstances. Detailed...Read more

Carroll, John M. 2001. “Community Computing as Human ‐ Computer Interaction.” Behaviour & Information Technology 20 (5): 307–14.

AO: This 2010 paper by John Carroll argues that thinking about "community computing" can help to make human-computer interaction richer and more comprehensive.Read more

Peters, Rebecca Warne, and Claire Wendland. 2016. “Up the Africanist: The Possibilities and Problems of ‘Studying up’ in Africa.” Critical African Studies, October, 1–16.

AO: This article by Peters and Wendland complicates Nadar's concept of "studying up," pointing out the complexity of power hierarchies that go beyond obvious and durable routes to power (e.g. whiteness in humanitarian projects). They argue, this aspect of studying up reveals ethical concerns...Read more

Aellah, G., T. Chantler, and P. W. Geissler, eds. 2016. Global Health Research in an Unequal World: Ethics Case Studies from Africa. Wallingford: CABI.

AO: This book is a collection of fictionalized case studies highlighting everyday ethical dilemmas and challenges often encountered in the process of conducting global health research in Africa. The authors intend for this to be a training tool to fill the gap between research ethics guidelines...Read more

Gorman, Michael E. “Levels of Expertise and Trading Zones: A Framework for Multidisciplinary Collaboration.” Social Studies of Science 32, no. 5–6 (December 2002): 933–38.

Michael Gorman discusses the utility of the concepts "boundary objects" and "trading zones" in the study of collaborations across differing levels of expertise.Read more

Fleck, Ludwik, Thaddeus J. Trenn, Robert K. Merton, and Fred Bradley. Genesis and Development of a Scientific Fact. Repr. 11. Aufl. Sociology of Science. Chicago [u.a]: Univ. of Chicago Press, 2008.

Ludwik Fleck uses cases studies in the history of biology and medical science to develop his conception of thought styles and thought collectives, arguing that all knowledge is relative to epistemic communities with historically specific manners of thinking and interacting.Read more

Galison, Peter. Image and Logic: A Material Culture of Microphysics. Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1997.

Peter Galison looks a the collaborative practices of microphysicists to develop his theory of "trading zones". Read more

Leigh Star, Susan. “This Is Not a Boundary Object: Reflections on the Origin of a Concept.” Science, Technology, & Human Values 35, no. 5 (September 2010): 601–17.

Abstract: There are three components to boundary objects as outlined in the original 1989 article. Interpretive flexibility, the structure of informatic and work
process needs and arrangements, and, finally, the dynamic between illstructured
and more tailored uses of the objects. Much of...Read more

Harvey, Graham. 2003. “Guesthood as Ethical Decolonising Research Method.” Numen 50 (2): 125–46.

AO: This 2003 paper by Graham Harvey argues that the duality of "insider" and "outsider" researcher is overly simplistic and that alternative relational positions can enhance research and its outcomes. He suggests one alternative position based on his work with the Maori: protocols by which...Read more

Choy, Timothy K., Lieba Faier, Michael J. Hathaway, Miyako Inoue, Shiho Satsuka, and Anna Tsing. “A New Form of Collaboration in Cultural Anthropology: Matsutake Worlds.” American Ethnologist 36, no. 2 (May 2009): 380–403.

Abstract: Experiments in collaboration open new investigative possibilities for cultural anthropologists. In this report, we use our research on matsutake mushrooms to show the promise of collaborative experiments for ethnographers of scale making, global connection, and human–nonhuman relations...Read more

Smith, Linda Tuhiwai. 1999. Decolonizing Methodologies: Research and Indigenous Peoples. London: Zed Books.

AO: This contribution emerging from feminist and indigenous studies is a canonical piece for discussions about decolonizing methodologies and epistemological violence.Read more

Star, Susan Leigh, and James R. Griesemer. “Institutional Ecology, `Translations’ and Boundary Objects: Amateurs and Professionals in Berkeley’s Museum of Vertebrate Zoology, 1907-39.” Social Studies of Science 19, no. 3 (August 1989): 387–420.

Abstract: Scientific work is heterogeneous, requiring many different actors and viewpoints. It also requires cooperation. The two create tension between divergent viewpoints and the need for generalizable findings. We present a model of how one group of actors managed this tension. It draws on...Read more