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University of Michigan School of Information


Prototyping and Evaluating a Living Research Synthesis Infrastructure

Associate Professor of Information Carl Lagoze and School of Education Professor Pamela Moss are working with colleagues to prototype and formatively evaluate an infrastructure for synthesizing and using existing research to develop actionable knowledge and identify needs for future research on practice in complex educational systems.

Infrastructure in its broadest sense is the often taken-for-granted set of technologies, norms, policies and practices that support everyday pursuits. In the context of research, knowledge infrastructure is the foundation for the basic pursuits through which we develop knowledge about the world. Before and at the onset of the digital age, the typical object of this infrastructure was the scholarly book or article, an artifact fixed in ink or bits (encoded as PDF). Yet, the digital context enables a transformation into a new type of scholarly object, one that is dynamic, collaborative and evolving.

Moving beyond conventional printed research syntheses, Lagoze and Moss envision an LRSI as a dynamic sociotechnical environment — focused on a particular research initiative or problem space — where researchers and other education professionals collaborate over time to organize relevant research that spans methodological, theoretical, disciplinary, professional and contextual boundaries; support continual updating as new research becomes available; minimize redundant efforts; engage in productive interaction about problems of practice; and generate ideas for new research.


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The amount of the award is $377,209 for UMSI for the project period. The grant is funded by the Spencer Foundation.