Scientific End-User Developers and Barriers to User/Customer Engagement

Scientific End-User Developers and Barriers to User/Customer Engagement

Judith Segal (The Open University, UK) and Chris Morris (STFC Daresbury Laboratory, UK)
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-4666-2059-9.ch018
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Abstract

When software supports the complex and poorly understood application domain of cutting-edge science, effective engagement between its users/customers and developers is crucial. Drawing on recent literature, the authors examine barriers to such engagement. Significant among these barriers is the effects of the experience that many research scientists have of local scientific end-user development. Through a case study, the authors demonstrate that involving such scientists in a team developing software for a widely distributed group of scientists can have a positive impact on establishing requirements and promoting adoption of the software. However, barriers to effective engagement exist, which scientific end-user developers can do little to address. Such barriers stem from the essential nature of scientific practice.
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Barriers To User Engagement In Community Software Development Projects

We begin by discussing our use of two terms: ‘community software’ and ‘user’. By the term ‘community software’, we mean software which, like the LIMS of our case study, is intended to support the activities of a distributed group of scientists working on similar scientific problems in the same scientific sub-discipline.

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