The Use of Wiki Tools in Collaborative Research and Learning

By Ronald C. Beckett.

Published by Journal of Technologies in Knowledge Sharing

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Article: Print $US10.00
Published Online: January 18, 2016 $US5.00

Wikipedia is widely used by the community as a knowledge source where informed individuals develop pages cooperatively. Variants of the underlying software are being used to facilitate student learning in academia and for a number of knowledge sharing purposes in industry. There are relatively few articles describing the use of wikis as a tool supporting research activities. This paper presents four case studies of joint industry-academia initiatives using a wiki to capture knowledge that facilitates research and capturing learning from research. While embracing the ‘wiki way’ of collaborative writing and publishing may be an initial concern, this fades away as experience is gained. It is observed that the core wiki tools work best when (a) the wiki tool is pre-structured to serve a specific purpose, and (b) when linked to other tools that facilitate task organisation, informal communication and the management of large data sets. While the use of a wiki tool may be mandated in a research environment, personal preferences in the way it is used in conjunction with traditional knowledge sharing mechanisms such as lab books, e-mail and formal report writing should be supported.

Keywords: Innovation, Knowledge Management, Wikipedia, Wikis, Collaborative Research

Journal of Technologies in Knowledge Sharing, Volume 11, Issue 4, January 2016, pp.13-26. Article: Print (Spiral Bound). Published Online: January 18, 2016 (Article: Electronic (PDF File; 523.966KB)), ISSN: ISSN 2381-9235.

Dr. Ronald C. Beckett

Adjunct Professor, School of Management and Marketing, Deakin University, Melbourne, Victoria, Australia

Ron Beckett is an industry practitioner with more than twenty-five years experience in the aerospace industry as a manager and change agent and nearly ten years experience as a consultant specializing in strategic innovation practices. For some fifteen years he has been working with university business schools seeking to better understand things that make sense in industry , and searching for new ideas that industry might utilize. He has used action research and case study methods in this interaction. Ron has published more than 100 conference papers, journal articles or book chapters on related subjects, including knowledge management, multi-partner collaboration and understanding innovation as a business process. He has been a Fellow of the Institution of Engineers, Australia and a Fellow of the Australian Institute of Management. He currently manages a consultancy network, and is an Adjunct Professor at Deakin University