Noriko Hara

Co-Constructing Controversy: Collaborative Knowledge Negotiation in Online Communities (co-sponsored by Rob Kling Center)

Date: February 6, 2015

Time: 2:00pm Р3:30pm

Room: Wells Library, Rm LI 030


Knowledge sharing online has flourished within organizations as well as open online communities due to the pervasiveness of Web 2.0 platforms. This talk will discuss a paper that investigates how contributors in online communities collaboratively share and construct controversial scientific knowledge. As the general public participates in such knowledge collaboration, it is imperative to understand the processes through which they contribute content and roles that they play. Through content analysis of three online communities that engage in knowledge collaboration on the subject of MMR vaccination, we found that the content discussed is influenced by the purposes of the communities, nature of the tasks, and demographics of participants, although they discussed the same topic. We also found that the framework of knowledge reuse and knowledge co-construction sites is useful for investigating the content and roles that appeared in the three communities. The talk will address the analytical framework of knowledge reuse and knowledge co-construction and articulate the roles that appeared in online communities. The findings of the study suggest implications for developing strategies to address contentious discourse in online communities.


I am associate professor in the School of Informatics and Computing at Indiana University, Bloomington and co-director of the Master of Information Science program. My research in Social Informatics emphasizes online knowledge sharing, communities of practice, and collective behaviors in mediated environments. Specifically, I examine the means by which collective behaviors are enabled and/or impeded by information Technology. I served the ASIS&T (American Society for Information Science & Technology) Special Interest Group on Social Informatics (SIG-SI) as a co-chair.