Open and Sustainable Innovation Systems (OASIS) Lab working notes

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Z: Effective individual synthesis systems (seem to mostly) exist (for a select few)


Many are by bricolage

[[List: Examples of lead users building their own thing]]

Raul Pacheco-Vega is a researcher who blogs about his process, which is a mix of things he calls synthetic notes (analogous to compressed individual grounded claims) and memoranda (which synthesize across claims; @pacheco-vegaWritingMemorandums2020) and Conceptual Excel Dumps (more elaborate compositions) (see, e.g., R: pacheco-vegaSynthesizingDifferentBodies2016 )

The practice of synthetic-note and memo-writing are inspired in part by the practice of memo-writing in qualitative research (see, e.g., Corbin and Strauss's grounded theory guide)

Money quote: "Writing memos should begin with the first analytic session and continue throughout the analytic process. Doing diagrams is more periodic but nevertheless very important. Doing memos and diagrams should never be viewed as chores, or as tasks to be agonized over. They are also not to be confused with finished papers ready for publication. Rather, memos and diagrams begin as rather rudimentary representations of thought and grow in complexity, density, clarity, and accuracy as the research progresses. One of the complaints we often hear from students is that writing memos and doing diagrams are just too time consuming. They say that they would rather make a few notes in the margins of their field notes. We puzzle over those remarks. Writing memos and doing diagrams are part of the analysis, part of doing qualitative work. They move the analysis forward and as such are just as important to the research process as data gathering itself."

Another money quote (about compression): "Though analysts can write on the actual interview or field notes, this is not practical, except perhaps in the earliest phases of open is difficult to retrieve information, in other words to combine or sort memos, if the margin of a field note or interview transcript is the only place where information has been stored"

sys/Zettelkasten or "slipbox" has the fundamental ideas of Atomicity and compositionality

It eschews folders and tags for a more innovative networked structure to allow for the notes to "talk back" to you)

A number of tools have been designed for and repurposed to support this practice (which was originally 100% analog), such as sys/TinderBox, sys/ConnectedText, Notion, etc., and more recently, of course, sys/RoamResearch

Others apply the framework of qualitative analysis to literature reviewing, correctly understanding the importance of context (rich, flexible connections to sources and their context) alongside Atomicity and compositionality.

They repurpose QDA software like sys/NVIVO or sys/Atlas.TI (which now even has training videos and materials for this functionality). We actually know at least 1-2 people who do this.

Collaboration is still very difficult, however.

Conceptual / theoretical basis for this Desire Path in @wolfswinkelUsingGroundedTheory2013

See also @silverCruxLiteratureReviewing2020 (generalizes beyond sys/NVIVO)


Referenced in

Z: What semantic publishing work is already being done by scholars in their scholarly workflows?

Related to Z: Effective individual synthesis systems (seem to mostly) exist (for a select few), in that, often a good bit of "semantic publishing work" (at least in proto form) is intrinsically and immediately useful for the sensemaker.

Z: Effective individual synthesis systems (seem to mostly) exist (for a select few)