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Antonietta Grasso <[log in to unmask]>
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Antonietta Grasso <[log in to unmask]>
Tue, 21 Dec 2010 05:41:55 -0500
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CSCW Journal Special Issue: Collective Intelligence in Organizations
Special issue editors: 
Antonietta Grasso (Xerox Research Center Europe, [log in to unmask])  
Gregorio Convertino (Palo Alto Research Center, [log in to unmask])
Tommaso Colombino (Xerox Research Center Europe, [log in to unmask]) 
Important dates:
Submission deadline: 28th January 2011
Reviews due:              18th March 2011
Revised version due:   6th May 2011
For updates on dates and prior workshop papers see: 
Submissions should be 6000-8000 words and follow the Springer guidelines for authors, available at
The vision of enabling Collective Intelligence through technology is not new. Early research on collaborative computing or groupware during the Seventies had already announced the possibility - at the time still visionary - of allowing large groups of dislocated people to carry out complex tasks by collaborating and coordinating each others’ activities. Over the last decade, this vision became a feasible reality especially after interactive Web 2.0 tools were introduced. Crowds of non-expert Internet users were allowed to generate their own content, share it, and collectively organize it online using tools such as Wikis, Blogs, Q&A forums,, Flickr, and Twitter. 
As these Web 2.0 tools became widely adopted, new forms of collective intelligent behaviors have started to appear and these tools, the large-scale processes that they support among people who often do not know each other, and the value they produce are examples of what has been recently referred to as Collective Intelligence (CI). The research on these early successful examples of ‘CI in the wild’ (i.e., in the public web) has started to highlight which technology and people preconditions should be in place for such intelligent behaviors to appear (e.g., research on Wikipedia).
Examples of adaptations of web 2.0 tools to the new context of large organizations include tools such as IBM’s social bookmarking software Lotus Connections Bookmarks (earlier called Dogear) and wiki platforms such as Wikispaces ( or TikiWiki (, which are being adopted by organizations. Moreover, emulating the success of social network systems for consumers such as Facebook or LinkedIn, new tools such as IBM’s SocialBlue (earlier called Beehive) or Novell’s Pulse are being proposed for the enterprise. Similarly, for microblogging tools, the success of Twitter as consumer tool has motivated the introduction of tools such as Yammer in enterprises as support for managers’ project management and awareness of activities in the organization. More generally, several commercial web platforms targeted at enterprises have appeared over the past years, such as IBM’s LotusLive, Microsoft’s SharePoint, Jive’s Social Business Software, and SAP’s NewWeaver. They include social functions that can be considered ‘ante litteram’ CI tools. 
However, despite these early systems, the ongoing process of diffusion of web 2.0 tools from the consumers’ space to the organizations’ space is still lacking an organized body of research literature which can orient design in this new domain. To start filling this gap, this special issue invites recent research, design, and theoretical contributions aimed at studying or supporting CI in the organization. The organization is likely to pose distinctive requirements and constraints for intelligent behaviors to emerge. For example, the experience of the Web has shown that letting behavior emerge is a winning strategy when a large population of users is in place who can “naturally” let order, as well as quality control, emerge in a grassroots fashion. Instead, organizations such as business enterprises or government institutions have different structures: the scale is different, a top-down control structure is already in place, and the employees have specific motivations, skills, and duties.
For this special issue we invite contributions that report on studies or tools about Collective Intelligence in the context of organizations. Such organizations may include large business enterprises, large government or military institutions, and local communities. While we keep in the background general research questions about CI (e.g., What defines the forms of CI that are enabled by new web 2.0 technologies?), we bring to the foreground specific questions about CI in the organization: What distinguishes these forms of CI from those enabled in the wild? What properties define them? What conditions facilitate or hinder them? 
The invited contributions should answer foundational questions about CI tools for organizations such as those listed below:
•           What defines the forms of CI that are being studied or supported in the organization? How are they different from other human activities and, more specifically, from similar forms of CI observed in the wild?
•           What are the organizational processes that are best suited to bottom-up organization and what features of CI tools can capture these?
•           What is the degree of domain modeling that the tools need to support to leverage content created and shared?
•           What are available traces from previous activities and how they can be exploited for the current activity to organize the dynamic knowledge being created?
•           What visualizations and abstractions can help to monitor and make sense of the activities of others?
•           How do factors such as trust, motivation, attribution, and traceability affect information and activity flows in organizations; how can they be ‘designed in’ CI tools?
•           What mix of research methods, such field studies and logs analysis, are suitable for CI research and design?
For this Special Issue of the Journal of Computer Supported Cooperative Work we invite contributions that pertain to one of these thematic areas:
1.         Feeding CI and knowledge creation or capture: infrastructures (e.g., Q&A communities, studies of content management systems, re-designing tools for individuals within Enterprise 2.0 systems).
2.         Exploiting and institutionalizing CI: knowledge re-use and community development (e.g., studies of adoption of corporate web 2.0 tools such as wikis, tools that support communities of professionals within organizations, tools for business process, new forms of organizational memory via web 2.0).
3.         Supporting advanced CI functions: decision making, voting, planning, product and service co-design (e.g., voting tools, collective decision making, planning and reuse of plans, semantic web applications, citizen journalism, tools for the medical domain).
4.         Methods for measuring CI behaviors and for designing CI tools: multidisciplinarity, critical mass, quality, ownership, incentives (e.g., techniques to measure and model behaviors and key factors, approaches to design and evaluate CI tools).

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