Working Group 2: New vocabularies

The emergence of Advanced Practices is often inhibited by normative terminology (e.g., of specific disciplines and institutions). This affects them at every stage, from initial insight, to the willingness of potential contributors, to final evaluation. Solutions are often ad-hoc (e.g., individual diplomacy or budget workarounds).

However, for Advanced Practices to become systemic will require a formal approach to addressing conflicting needs: articulating legitimate concerns that drive resistance, developing practical templates that realise potential at each stage, and promoting awareness of the broadly productive aspects of APs. WG2 will conduct field research — for example, interviews with people known for playing pivotal roles in significant collaborations, organizational ‘look-arounds’ to identify exemplary contexts, reviews of non-obvious materials (e.g., email discussions or MOUs).

Its goal is to move beyond clichéd precedents (e.g., ‘Xerox Parc’) and genres (e.g., case studies) and to develop practical, provisional reference documents that describe current usages — for example, ‘open’ genres such as a lexicon of significant concepts, and a library of techniques for mediating conflicting concerns. In every case, materials should emphasise multiple perspectives; this will ensure both that research solicits input from different stakeholders and that the resulting work product is balanced and broadly useful.

WG2 objective: Compile practical, provisional references of current terminology used to describe candidate Advanced Practices.

WG2-specific activities: Develop a shared, rich-media, user-writable resource (e.g., a wiki) for maintaining provisional vocabularies linked to examples and resources.

WG2-specific tasks: (1) Identify vocabulary terms to be developed; (2) edit, source, annotate, and link entries; (3) distribute research to participants on an ongoing basis; and (4) provide clear mechanisms for incorporating internal and external feedback.

WG2 milestones: (1) Setup of online working environments; (2) establish criteria for and populate initial entries; and (3) launch of the ‘new vocabularies’ platform.

WG2-specific deliverables: Online vocabulary of Advanced Practices