Opasnet randomized trial

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Opasnet randomized trial is a research study design for estimating the practical impacts of using collaborative web workspaces for information production and use. In brief, a group of self-selected researchers, policy-makers, or other info producers and users is formed using a web assignment. The participants are divided into a few practical categories based on their main objective and group size, e.g. info producers vs. info users; and individuals working mostly alone, individuals working within a group that is not participating in the trial, and whole groups participating in the trial.

Within each category, the participants are randomly allocated into two groups:

  • Intervention group, which is taught to use Opasnet in their information work. They are given continuous support via e.g. a real-time chat and training workshops.
  • Control group, which is not using Opasnet but that works with whatever tools they have been using before.

Both groups are carefully followed. The participants write down their working habits, tools used for work, time used to different tasks (using Grindstone time tracking software), and problems occurred and solutions (if found). After the information work has been completed, the outcome is evaluated by an external expert panel. Both the information products and the actual use of the products are evaluated (how?).

A first pilot is performed in a rather small scale and homogeneous group, such as THL/YMTO.