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First published online April 8, 2009

Case Studies of e-Infrastructure Adoption


This article reports results from a study of e-Infrastructure adoption in the social sciences and humanities (SSH). The authors find that bridging barriers between computer and domain scientists is of key importance. In particular, SSH communities have to be accepted as being distinct and not suited to a ‘‘one size fits all’’ strategy of e-Infrastructure diffusion. Sustainability was also a core issue, whereas barriers to resource sharing could mostly be resolved with technological solutions, and skills and training activities are a reflection of the general ‘‘user dilemma.’’ The authors’ recommendations to European Union (EU) policy makers point the way to promoting e-Infrastructure development and wider application in the SSH.

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1. A quick search on the ISI Web of Science SSH databases (Social Sciences Citation Index, Arts & Humanities Citation Index, and Conference Proceedings Citation Index-Social Science & Humanities) on November 28, 2008, returned only one hit for the search term ‘‘social simulation’’ in the period 1989-1993, growing to 5 (1994-1998), 20 (1999-2003), and 37 (2004-2008). For the search term ‘‘agent-based model*,’’ the increase is even more pronounced: 0 (1989-1993), 4 (1994-1998), 100 (1999-2003), and 328 (2004-2008). Even presuming that the overall numbers of items in the searched databases have increased, these increases clearly show the rising attention that these topics receive among social scientists and humanists.
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3. Training is an issue in e-Science in general and substantial concerns about sufficient numbers of trained individuals for the full exploitation and maintenance of e-Social Science investments have been frequently expressed (e.g., e-IRG in Leenaars, et al., 2005; OGF at view.php? group=et-cg).


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Published In

Article first published online: April 8, 2009
Issue published: November 2009


  1. e-Infrastructure
  2. e-Social Science
  3. adoption
  4. case studies

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Published online: April 8, 2009
Issue published: November 2009



Franz Barjak
University of Applied Sciences Northwestern Switzerland, [email protected]
Julia Lane
National Opinion Research Center at the University ofChicago (NORC), [email protected]
Zack Kertcher
National Opinion Research Center at the University ofChicago (NORC), [email protected]
Meik Poschen
National Centre for e-Social Science (NCeSS), UnitedKingdom, [email protected]
Rob Procter
National Centre for e-Social Science (NCeSS), UnitedKingdom, [email protected]
Simon Robinson
empirica Communication and Technology Research, Germany, [email protected]

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