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Elisabeth Joyce


Publications by Elisabeth Joyce (bibliography)

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Joyce, Elisabeth, Butler, Brian and Pike, Jacqueline (2011): Handling flammable materials: Wikipedia biographies of living persons as contentious objects. In: Proceedings of the 2011 iConference 2011. pp. 25-32. Available online

Common ground. Shared interests. Collective goals. Much has been said about the power of technology to bring people together around commonalities to form groups, teams, and communities. Yet, the same technologies can also be used to bring together individuals with fundamentally irreconcilable differences. In these cases, the question is not how to construct systems that build on commonality, but rather how to manage artifacts that by their very nature provide affordances for conflict. In this paper we examine how Biographies of Living Persons (BLP) in Wikipedia exemplify contentious objects, both in terms of their features and their consequences. We draw from discussions of risk management and resilience to outline four approaches that groups can use to manage contentious objects (risk avoidance, risk minimization, threat reduction, and conflict management). Description of the policies, structures, and systems surrounding Biographies of Living Persons in Wikipedia illustrate how application of these approaches enable the creation and existence of large collection of contentions objects, without undermining the viability of the larger socio-technical system.

© All rights reserved Joyce et al. and/or ACM Press

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Butler, Brian, Joyce, Elisabeth and Pike, Jacqueline (2008): Don't look now, but we've created a bureaucracy: the nature and roles of policies and rules in wikipedia. In: Proceedings of ACM CHI 2008 Conference on Human Factors in Computing Systems April 5-10, 2008. pp. 1101-1110. Available online

Wikis are sites that support the development of emergent, collective infrastructures that are highly flexible and open, suggesting that the systems that use them will be egalitarian, free, and unstructured. Yet it is apparent that the flexible infrastructure of wikis allows the development and deployment of a wide range of structures. However, we find that the policies in Wikipedia and the systems and mechanisms that operate around them are multi-faceted. In this descriptive study, we draw on prior work on rules and policies in organizations to propose and apply a conceptual framework for understanding the natures and roles of policies in wikis. We conclude that wikis are capable of supporting a broader range of structures and activities than other collaborative platforms. Wikis allow for and, in fact, facilitate the creation of policies that serve a wide variety of functions.

© All rights reserved Butler et al. and/or ACM Press

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