Memory in the Small: Combining Collective Memory and Task Support for a Scientific Community

  • Ackerman M
  • Mandel E
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Many forms of memory exist embedded within the processes and tasks of an organization or community. “Memory-in-the small”, or memory utilized in the performance of an institutionally important task, serves as an effective task support mechanism. By basing memory upon tasks (and basing task support upon memory), memory systems can provide additional and necessary support services for organizations and communities. As an example of memory-in-the-small, this paper describes a software system, called the ASSIST, that combines memory with task performance for a scientific community. The ASSIST utilizes and stores the collective memory of astrophysicists about data analysis, and is used world-wide by astrophysicists. The paper also considers the architectural and theoretical issues involved when combining memory with task performance.

Author-supplied keywords

  • collective memory
  • computer-supported
  • cooperative work
  • information spaces
  • organizational memory
  • scientific applications
  • scientific community
  • task support

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  • Mark S. Ackerman

  • Eric Mandel

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