Question & answer communities
In collaboration with his SocialWorlds Research Group and other UMSI faculty members, Professor of Information Mark Ackerman has studied a variety of Q&A communities, with a particular interest in how these communities function. This project has encompassed studies of Java Forum and Yahoo! Answers, along with its sister sites Naver in Korea and Baidu in China. The studies detailed how the communities functioned, how expertise was distributed, why the answerer helped, and any intercultural differences in the transactions.
Applying Q&A research findings to disease management support groups, Ackerman’s research group found that interactions between patients with chronic diseases can help them find individualized care, and explored the implications that their interaction habits would have in developing online community groups.
Start date: 9/1/2008
End date: 8/31/2014
Support for this project was provided by partial funding and work from the following grants:
EAGER: Cultural Issues in Sharing Expertise: Characterizing and Evaluating Online Question-Answer Communities, National Science Foundation: $237,752 (9/1/2009-8/31/2013)
HCC: Medium: Collaborative Configuration: Supporting End-User Control of Complex Computing, National Science Foundation: $1,185,194 (9/1/2009-8/31/2013); Principal Investigator: Mark Newman, Co-PI: Mark Ackerman
CAREER: Social Dynamics of Information in Virtual Spaces, National Science Foundation: $438,251 (5/1/2008-4/30/2013); Principal Investigator: Lada Adamic
ITR: Collaborative Augmentation of Knowledge Production, National Science Foundation: $1,100,000 (9/1/2003-8/31/2009); Prinicpal Investigator: George Furnas, Co-PI: Mark Ackerman and Barbara Mirel
The National Science Foundation (NSF) is an independent federal agency created by Congress in 1950 "to promote the progress of science; to advance the national health, prosperity, and welfare; to secure the national defense…"